BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Police Department’s new homeland security lieutenant colonel was officially introduced at a Friday press conference.

Lt. Col. LaTonya Lewis is the first African-American woman to rise above the rank of lieutenant in the department’s history, according to Baltimore Police Commissioner Designate Darryl De Sousa.

Lt. Col. Lewis says she’s been with the department 21 years.

“I’ll be responsible for communications, the watch center, RMS, as well as information technology,” she said. “My goal will be to support patrol, and make sure that they have up-to-date technology in a timely fashion.”

De Sousa said Violet Hill Whyte was the first black person to be appointed to the department in 1937.

“The highest rank that she ascended to was lieutenant… we’ve never had an African American female that ascended beyond that rank,” De Sousa said.

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