INDIANAPOLIS — This month, WRTV is shining a light on the achievements of African Americans in our community's past and present.
We’re hearing from the first Black woman in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's 15-year history to graduate from the FBI National Academy.
Commander Ida Williams shares the impact she hopes to make on minorities within the department.
"I don't know, I was just overjoyed. I was excited. I knew once you got there what was expected of you," said Cmdr. Williams.
It was an indescribable feeling for then-Lt. Williams to receive the email of a lifetime back in 2020 of her acceptance into the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia to become a commander.
"I'll never forget. I sent an email that I was interested in going to Quantico. I didn't know much about Quantico. So, I reached out to a retired Assistant Chief Deputy Darryl Pierce and after speaking to Darryl Pierce about my interest, he said absolutely, you need to go," said Williams.
It was much-needed encouragement that helped set the stage for Williams.
"You had to be vetted by the FBI. So, it wasn't like IMPD said, 'yeah you could go', but it was a process. It was a very long process. It took about a year," said Williams.
Williams said she hopes more minorities will seek such opportunities through IMPD, adding that only 1% of the nation's top law enforcement leadership gets to attend the FBI training academy.
"Now that I've been there, I think I have a responsibility. When I got back, I shared with my team my experiences and I asked everyone to work hard when their time comes to make sure they put in," said Williams.
"I don't feel like my job is complete unless I continue to develop those around me," said Williams.
Before the merger between the Indianapolis Police Department (IPD) and IMPD, the IPD sent two Black females to the FBI national academy, dating back to 1978, making Commander Williams the first under IMPD's existence.