ROANOKE, Va. – After 20 years with Roanoke Police, Jennifer Boswell is making history by becoming the first female captain in department history.
For Boswell ... she’s still kind of getting used to the new position.
“Just coming into work today, walking in the back door, parking in your captain spot and the officers are out back during shift change … they’re like ‘hey Captain’ and you’re like ‘oh, that’s me’,” Boswell said.
Boswell joined RPD back in 2003. Through the years she’s served as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and now captain. Captain Boswell’s promotion marks her as the highest-ranking female officer in RPD history.
However, she gives a lot of credit to former female officers who made their way up the ranks.
“Being that we’re in 2023 and just now getting to that, I wish we would have gotten to that earlier with somebody else but we’re here. I would hope to do as much I can in this position,” Boswell said.
Boswell has gained tons of support from fellow colleagues, including Officer Jacob Underwood. Underwood and Boswell go years back to when she was a sergeant working underneath Underwood’s dad.
“She’s obviously been someone in my life … kind of being that mold to why I’m here as being a police officer today. She always motivated me in that sense,” Underwood said.
The story comes full circle as Underwood will not work under Boswell. He said that through her recruiting efforts, a lot of the officers on the team now would not be there without Boswell.
“There’s not an officer in this department that doesn’t know her at some level. She always is one of those individuals that is around and gets to know officers at a personal but also a professional level,” Underwood said.
Boswell knows she’s deserving of the position. She hopes being the first-ever female captain in the department can serve as a motivation for other girls thinking about joining law enforcement.
“There is a want and need. Everyone wants to see themselves in our police department. There’s female citizens that want to see more females here and we need that,” Boswell said.