By KYW community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Camden County Police Department today promoted more than a dozen officers into command ranks, with one particular officer shattering a long-held glass ceiling within the department.

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At police headquarters on Federal Street, three new captains and ten new lieutenants took the oath of office.

And in that group, there was just one woman — Lt. Linda Alicea (second from left in photo) — who is now the highest ranking Hispanic woman in Camden law enforcement history.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege all around,” she said today.

This mother of three is an 18-year veteran of the force and was the first female and first Latina sergeant.

And, just two years later, she is now a lieutenant.

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Her daughter Ashleigh joined the force last year.

“It feels good to be able to provide safety for the citizens of Camden,” Ashleigh said today.  “Not only was I born and raised here, but all of my immediate family members live in the City of Camden.”

Chief Scott Thomson says the promotions mean its command staff is now “majority minority.”

“Two out of every three commanders, which is the rank of sergeant and above, is minority,” he explained.

Still, critics take issue with the department’s 40-percent minority composition among officers, and the high rate of turnover. Thomson says there’s still work to be done.


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