• 63°

Breaking down barriers

With a police department full of competent officers, detectives and administrators, news that the city of Suffolk is promoting a slate of Suffolk’s finest hardly qualifies as stop-the-presses material. There are many deserving folks wearing blue (and plainclothes, too) and stationed at precincts throughout the city, and promotions are only one of the ways that the city should honor their hard work and sacrifice each year.

Still, the announcement last week that 17 people on the police force are being promoted came with a bit more heft than such announcements often do. That’s because one of those promotions will result in the historic installment of the first woman in Suffolk’s history to attain the rank of Major.

Captain Stephanie Burch, who currently does a great job at the head of the Suffolk Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, will take her new rank and move into the leadership job for the Operations Division, which includes the Criminal Investigation and Uniform Patrol divisions.

It’s a big deal for any department to break down the ceilings that have prevented competent people from advancing in their careers. For a department with as public a profile as that of the police department, smashing those barriers is a vital component of the effort to maintain public trust. Suffolk citizens should be proud to see the evidence of change.