By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
There’s a new chief in town, and she’s spreading Black Girl Magic and a lot of firsts in Hyattsville, Md. Amal Awad is the first Black, first woman and first member of the LGBT community to be appointed as the chief of police in Hyattsville’s 132-year-old history.
Awad was initially hired as interim chief of police and was officially sworn in on Dec. 13 by Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, also a Black woman. Awad’s wife, Jade and her siblings were by her side as she was sworn in and the room was full of colleagues, mentors, mentees and Hyattsville leaders and Council members to support this monumental moment.
“This is a historic moment, right? You don’t see very many women elevating, or who choose to elevate to the next rank,” Awad told the crowd in her brief remarks.
Prior to her most recent appointment, Awad served in both Prince George’s and Anne Arundel County Police Departments. She was appointed to the rank of Major on Sept. 11. 2011 and served Bowie’s District Station as commander, had a couple stints as executive officer to the Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief of Police and worked as the civilian chief of staff for Anne Arundel County Police Department.
An educated officer, Amal graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a master’s in management and received the prestigious Public Safety Leadership Award.
She has been in the role of interim chief of police since August, after her predecessor, Col. Douglas K. Holland retired. Prior to taking over for Holland, she served as a captain in Hyattsville. Amal went to Hyattsville after taking a break from policing to care of her ailing mother.
“Thank you for the opportunity to return to the profession that I love,” Amal said.
“I was responding to a higher calling. For three years, my siblings and I spent our time caring and journeying with our mother as she strongly walked through Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Today my mother’s in this room working through me. Every bit of who I am is a reflection of my mother,” Amal told the audience. She then told a story of when she worked in Hyattsville as a captain for the Chief, her mom insisted that she was indeed the one in charge.
“She said, ‘No, Amal. You’re the Chief.’ So in my heart she was foreshadowing, what she saw in her daughter. And I’m so proud to be her daughter.”
Awad is the eighth chief of police to serve Hyattsville.