Fort Worth

Sansom Park Swears in its First Female Police Chief

The city of Sansom Park, a small suburb of Fort Worth, took a big step Friday in helping more women develop careers in law enforcement by swearing in its first female police chief.

Chief Carolyn Gilmore brings 23 years of experience with the Fort Worth Police Department to her new job.

"When I heard that they had not had a female chief here, that did excite me because I thought ,'That's one more door that we can open,'" Gilmore said.

She's already the first woman vice president of CLEAT, the state police association, and of the local Fort Worth Police Officers Association.

Gilmore said she's always carried with her advice that her mom gave her when she joined a boys' baseball team as a kid.

"No one's going to feel sorry for you. No one's going to help you," Gilmore said. "So if you're going to play you're going to play and I don't want to hear you feeling sorry for yourself. And when I told her I wanted to be a police officer in 1995, she gave me the same look and almost the same speech."

But Gilmore said men have empowered her along the way too, one in particular. Her 6-year-old grandson, Cohen Basco, pinned her new chief's badge on her during Friday's ceremony.

"No other human being that I would rather put this badge on than my grandson," Gilmore said. "It means a lot to me because I know that he expects me to do a good job."

"She's worked for a long time as a police officer and I think all of the experience that she's been through is going to help her," Cohen said.

It's a major vote of confidence for the inspiration Gilmore shares with every female officer.

"We are a part of the future and we're here and we're present and we're making changes and doing great things," said Gilmore’s close friend, Fort Worth Police Patrol Sgt. Debbie Rusnak.

Gilmore said her top priorities are to bring a community policing approach to Sansom Park and to make sure her officers know she has their backs.

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