CINCINNATI – Come next week, it will be the first time in the 209-year history of the Cincinnati Police Department to have two female captains serving as district commanders at the same time.
Plus, the police department will officially have three female captains overseeing agency sections and district commands – the most at any one time.
With the upcoming retirement of the department’s longest-tenured captain, Gary Lee, Chief Jeffrey Blackwell is expected to promote District 4 Lt. Maris Herold to district commander and move Capt. Bridget Bardua from the special investigations section to oversee operations in District 5.
Herold joins Bardua and Capt. Teresa Theetge, who currently serves as the internal affairs commander.
Blackwell’s decision represents a commitment on his part to develop an internal culture of leadership that filters out onto city streets, he said. He said he wants to encourage his commanders to take more of a leadership role, and the promotion of another woman into a captain’s rank, just under assistant chief, is another piece of the puzzle that’s falling into place.
The promotions show the department is making progress, though it remains an "evolving organization," Blackwell said. A little less than one-quarter of sworn Cincinnati police officers are women.
WCPO Insiders can read more about why it's so important for the future of the department to promote women and shake up the roles of the captains. Also, learn more about where two assistant chiefs applied elsewhere and what Blackwell has to say about their decisions to seek other jobs.