Superintendent Hughes shared her feelings on the appointment which took effect earlier this year during a recent interview.
“For me it is a very humbling and great experience,” she disclosed. “I’m not going to take it as something to go around and [chant] hip, hip hooray about, I’m going to remain humble.”
Ms. Hughes, who now heads the Strategic Intelligence Unit, added that she hopes this accomplishment can serve as a motivator for other members of the rank.
“I want it to mean something to the younger women in the organization to understand that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind to,” Superintendent Hughes stressed. “The ceiling has been broken. Carol Williams, the first female Inspector, she broke through and I’m happy to be the person to have taken it to the next level and I’m imploring all others coming up the ranks to strive … [and] to go beyond to be the first Assistant Commissioner, the first Deputy Commissioner, the first Commissioner of Police.”
Appreciation was expressed to a number of persons who professionally and personally challenged Hughes to excel. She singled out the contributions of her father who initially had reservations when she decided to join the police force in 1979.
“I joined the force 33 years ago, a young constable all excited,” recalled Superintendent Hughes. “My father was not happy about it because he had nine daughters and to him [one of] his daughters going into the police force that is so male-dominated was not the best thing in his mind but he encouraged me anyway and I’m so sorry he is not around today to see that I have risen to this rank and I did it not because of … begging for favors but I did it on … the values that he inculcated in me as a young child.”
“Fall down if you may but always rise above it.” Ms. Hughes added, when asked what she would say to those who wish to pursue their dreams.