More than a dozen public safety – fire and police – employees were promoted to higher ranks during a ceremony inside the city council chamber on Monday morning.
Eight police officers were promoted to sergeant rank, two promoted to lieutenant, and one to captain. Two firemen were promoted to captain and four more promoted to deputy chief.
Among those promoted was Lourdes Phelan (pictured), who became the first woman police captain in the city police department’s 222-year history. “The first female, Hispanic, Puerto Rican to break through the glass ceiling,” said mayor Jose “Joey” Torres to the cheers of an overfilled chamber. Phelan joined the city’s police in 1996, according to city records.
Promoted to police lieutenant were officers Daniel Roone and David Rios; promoted to police sergeant were officers Kenan Tuncel, Brian Morgan, Patrick Lenoy, Angel Vargas, Eladio Lugo, Orlando Robinson, Kelly Pacelli, and Carl McDowell.
“Today, you have the legitimate authority to command people to do things,” said William Fraher, acting police chief, “but, it’s a very poor way of leadership. The best style of leadership is reverent leadership where people look up to you because of who you are not what your rank is.”
After providing leadership advice to the newly decorated superior officers Fraher said, “Don’t cheapen your own integrity, don’t cheapen your name; be honest, be forthright.”
Fire chief Michael Postorino gave similar advice, “You know what I expect of you. You’ve all earned your promotion. You know what it means to you, you know what it means to me. And I know you won’t let me down.”
Two firemen were promoted to captain: Ronald Bator and Thomas Hogan. Four others were promoted to deputy chief: Brian McDermott, Frank Calamita, Pablo DelValle, and William Henderson. DelValle became the first ever minority deputy chief, the mayor added.
Torres, who said this was the first time the city held its fire and police promotional ceremony at the same event, administered oath to the promoted public safety employees as family members snapped photographs.
“I think it’s wonderful that females are starting to climb up,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman.