Howard police promote first female deputy chief

Howard County Police Capt. Mary Levy was promoted to one of the agency’s three deputy chief positions on Monday, becoming the first female officer to attain the rank of major.

The former information and technology bureau captain will lead the investigations and special operations command, joining Maj. Ellsworth Jones in operations command and Maj. Luther Johnson in administration command.

“I’m very humbled, but I’m honored at the same time to be rewarded and recognized for my work,” said Levy, 53. “I’m thankful that [Police Chief Gary Gardner] has trust in me that I’ll be doing the right thing. It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a grand opportunity.”

Levy said her command unit focuses on a variety of issues, including robbery, violent crime, burglary, child abuse, sexual assault, arson and auto theft.

When the 28-year department veteran started with patrol, the profession was “male-dominated,” she said, but other women and men in the field before her made it possible for females to success in law enforcement.

“I can’t express enough gratitude for all of the people who made it possible for me to reach this level in my career,” Levy said. “You’re almost acting as a role model for other women in the agency who may or may not aspire to be in a position of supervision.”

Levy’s career has continued with youth services, education and training, child abuse and sexual assault cases. Her work extends to vice president of the 275-mile Unity Tour Chapter IX bike ride to support fallen officers as well as an active participant in the state’s Special Olympics activities and county’s Shop with a Cop program.

Police said Levy’s promotion was among a dozen appointments within the department during a ceremony on Oct. 30, including officers Todd Leppert and Cory Zirk to captain; Erika Heavner, Sarah Kayser and Chris Williams to lieutenant; Terrence Benn, Mark Orlosky and Tom Townsend to sergeant; and Ronald E. Baker, Erik Gillenwater and Sharri Jastrzebski to corporal.

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