Plantation police

Woman Captain Makes History in Plantation Police Department

Captain Jessica Ryan is in charge of the road patrol division at Plantation PD.

NBC Universal, Inc.

For the first time ever, a woman has reached the captain rank in the Plantation Police Department.

Captain Jessica Ryan has been in law enforcement for two decades. Her roles have varied through the years — she’s been involved in a few task forces, including internet crimes against children.

Now, she is in charge of the road patrol division at Plantation PD.

“It’s a very important position because nowadays there’s a little bit of that distrust with the community and the officers," Ryan explained. "I’m held accountable for their actions and making certain that they’re acting accordingly."

Prior to being captain, she had already made history in the department when she was promoted to lieutenant.

According to the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, only 3% of leadership positions in law enforcement are held by women.

“My family was very surprised when I wanted to go into this field,” Ryan said. “I was very young at the time and small. It did shock many. But what I would say to anyone is you don’t know unless you try.”

She says the impact she can make on the community’s safety is what keeps her going. She adds, though, being in law enforcement has taught her to see her life in a new light.

“You go to work, you say goodbye to your spouse, you say goodbye to your children, and there’s a good possibility that you may not return,” she said. “So it’s that constant reminder of really appreciating life, life being a gift, and living it to the fullest.”

Even with this risk, she says she is glad she stuck to her gut and went into law enforcement, after considering going into education.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done," she said.

She told NBC 6 in a one-on-one interview it has never been about becoming the first woman or Latina to reach this rank, but rather, it’s about being recognized for a job well done.

“My passion for the job, and my desire to do well for those working for me or alongside me,” she said. “It just worked out.”

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