MDTA pro­motes first African-Amer­i­can fe­male lieu­tenant colonel

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LENE MAYO [email protected]­pub.com

On Dec 5, Ma­jor Lucy Lyles was pro­moted to lieu­tenant colonel, be­com­ing the first African-Amer­i­can fe­male to hold that rank in Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Author­ity (MDTA) Po­lice his­tory.

The 25-year vet­eran will now run the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Bureau, over­see­ing lo­gis­tics and sup­port ser­vices.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Mer­gen­thaler Vo­ca­tional-Te­chini­cal High School, Lyles at­tended Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park, earn­ing a bach­e­lors of science de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice.

Right af­ter, Lyles went to Univer­sity of Mary­land, Univer­sity Col­lege, and earned a de­gree in para­le­gal stud­ies.

“Af­ter that I went right into the work force,” L yles ex­plained, not­ing that she

worked for dif­fer­ent law firms.

She would ul­ti­mately change ca­reer paths af­ter go­ing on ma­ter­nity leave to have her youngest son, and the law firm she worked for was closed.

“I was job­less, so I be­gan to work part-time at the post of­fice,” L yes said.

“I knew I didn’t want to stay there long,” Lyles said.

Orig­i­nally, Lyles was look­ing to go to law school and work in the le­gal arena, Lyles ex­plained. “How­ever, I al­ways wanted to be a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Ran­domly, Lyles’ hus­band brought home an ap­pli­ca­tion for what was then the Toll Fa­cil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Lyles, the Toll Fa­cil­ity changed its name in 1995 to the Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Author­ity Po­lice.

“I put in my ap­pli­ca­tion, not even think­ing much of it, and they hired me,” Lyles said.

She was hired to work at Bal­ti­more/Wash­ing­ton In­ter­na­tional Air­port on and off for 5 years.

“I did a few things in this po­si­tion be­fore hit­ting the pro­mo­tional track,” Lyles said.

In 1999, Lyles was pro­moted to cor­po­ral and was switched to the of­fice of strate­gic plan­ning where she wrote and re-wrote the di­rec­tive man­u­als and the rules and reg­u­la­tions for the agency.

“We be­came ac­cred­ited through the Com­mis­sion on Ac­cred­i­ta­tion for Law En­force­ment Agen­cies; I was a part of that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process,” Lyles said.

Along with ob­tain­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tions, Lyes as­sisted with the lead­er­ship of other law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, cre­at­ing men­tor­ship pro­grams, train­ing pro­grams, in­ven­tory, spe­cial projects, train­ing, bud­gets and pay­roll.

In May of 2003, Lyles grad­u­ated from Johns Hop­kins with a mas­ters in Man­age­ment.

A year later, Lyles worked with in­ter­nal af­fairs.

In 2005, Lyles was pro­moted to a sergeant, where she was as­sis­tant com­man­der of the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety unit.

“They do com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety in­spec­tions, bus in­spec­tions, over­weight ve­hi­cles, things of that na­ture to make the roads safe,” L yles said.

In April of 2007, Lyles was pro­moted to lieu­tenant, com­man­der of the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety unit north­ern re­gion and re­spon­si­ble for the over­sight of the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety unit.

Six months later, she was pro­moted to cap­tain and be­came com­man­der of the in­ter­nal af­fairs unit, again deal­ing with any breach of agency poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, as well as im­ple­ment­ing the blue team, an elec­tronic pro­gram that pro­cesses cases.

“In July of 2009, I left and went to the FBI na­tional academy,” Lyes ex­plained. “When I came back they trans­ferred me back to the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety unit as a com­man­der.”

Two years later, she was made act­ing ma­jor and com­man­der of the pa­trol de­vi­sion, im­ple­ment­ing strate­gic strate­gies to in­crease DUI and DWI en­force­ment, traf­fic safety, com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle en­force­ment, bud­get and grants.

In 2013, Lyles was pro­moted, man­ag­ing bridges, two tun­nels, the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle safety unit, griev­ances, la­bor con­tracts, pay­roll and bud­get.

Af­ter years of hard work, Lyles has reached the highest po­si­tion in her depart­ment.

“I had a track in mind when I first joined the po­lice depart­ment,” Lyles said.

Early in her ca­reer, Lyles was com­plain­ing to her then com­man­der about func­tions that dis­pleased her. Once her com­plain­ing stopped, he looked at her and told her to be­come the change she wanted, in­stead of com­plain­ing

“Right now this isn’t just an ac­com­plish­ment for me but a mile­stone for oth­ers who are be­ing pro­moted in the agency,” Lyes ex­plained. “Now we’re a part of his­tor y.”

Ac­cord­ing to Lyles, 26 other peo­ple were pro­moted.

“The agency is evolv­ing and be­com­ing more im­proved and a bet­ter place to work,” Lyes said.

“I’m hum­bled,” she noted. In the fu­ture, Lyles wants to be­come a chief.

“Cur­rently, I’m work­ing on my PhD in pub­lic safety and ad­min­is­tra­tion,” L yles said.

Lyles wants to fo­cus on the re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion process to make the agency more di­verse.

“I see that as a short­com­ing for a lot of agen­cies,”L yles ex­plained. “My heart is in law en­force­ment; I love teach­ing, how­ever I do want to even­tu­ally be­come a chief some­where.”

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Lucy Lyles, the first fe­male African-Amer­i­can to be pro­moted to MDTA lieu­tenant colonel.

Vis­i­tors take in the Dun­dalk-Pat­ap­sco Neck His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety Train Gar­den.

A small Christ­mas scene at the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

Lighted lu­mi­nar­ies lined Veter­ans Park on Dec. 21.

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