Although dogged by allegations of racism, the U.S. Capitol Police force has taken a big step by adding two Black female captains to its ranks. Yogananda Pittman (pictured left) and Monique Moore (pictured right) are the first African-American women to achieve the rank of captain for the Capitol force, although their peers say that discrimination still exists behind closed doors.
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The U.S. Capitol Police have the primary function of protecting lawmakers who work on the Hill and to watch over the dozens of congressional buildings housed around the main Capitol building. As they moved up in rank, Pittman and Moore did not have the luxury of meeting other Black women equally as poised to make it to the levels of upper management. Still, neither woman seems bitter about their road to ascension.
“I just definitely think it let’s them know that it’s attainable,” Pittman said on being an inspiration to younger Black officers. “When you see someone who looks like yourself in the rank of captain and what have you, they know they can do it.”
While the racism charges even inspired members of the Congressional Black Caucus to intervene, Pittman and Moore both say they’ve yet to receive such treatment. For Moore, her determination would have pushed her through regardless of any obstacle.
“”Even if I did experience that type of behavior from the department, I don’t think that would have stopped me from my goals,” Moore said.
Pittman and Moore, who both were promoted this past January, will preside over 500 officers who help cover the congressional areas and surrounding blocks, responding to all manner of activity including theft, drunk driving, and terrorist threats.