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Boston police welcome new female captain, the seventh in department history

Therese Kozmiski stood as she was promoted to the rank of captain.
Therese Kozmiski stood as she was promoted to the rank of captain. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe staff)

The daughter of a former Boston police officer became Wednesday the seventh female captain in the history of the force during a promotion ceremony at department headquarters, as several beaming relatives who are also on the job looked on.

“There’s three generations in my family that have served the city,” said the newly minted Captain Therese Kozmiski, a 22-year BPD veteran, during Wednesday’s event. “I’m a Brighton girl, a city girl, I love this city.”

Kozmiski, 57, will run the West Roxbury district as the department’s only current female captain.

“I do believe this is a great day for the city and for this department,” she said. “I know there were pioneers before me, and I’d like to be an inspiration to girls after me. . . . I love all the men and women that serve under me, and my aim is to protect them and keep them safe and let them go home safely each night to their families and to protect the citizens that we serve here in Boston.”

Police Commissioner William G. Gross said Kozmiski’s promotion reflects a department that’s working to ensure it looks “like every neighborhood in this city and [is] reflective of every gender in this city.”

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Addressing Kozmiski directly, Gross said officers who receive an assignment “do [their] job. And you’ve done that year after year after year.”

The commissioner rattled off Kozmiski’s many prior assignments since joining the force in 1996. They include patrol stints in the South End and Brighton, six years as a sergeant in Roxbury and the South End, and a promotion in 2011 to lieutenant, her rank until Wednesday.

As a lieutenant, she had assignments in Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, and downtown, as well as the paid detail section.

“You’re wicked smart,” Gross said.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh also praised the new captain, crediting her for working “to push yourself through the ranks.”

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Therese Kozmiski was pinned by her daughter Therese after being promoted to captain.
Therese Kozmiski was pinned by her daughter Therese after being promoted to captain. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe staff)

“Today should be a proud day for you because it’s certainly a proud day for me and the Boston Police Department,” Walsh said.

Also in attendance were several of Kozmiski’s siblings and a nephew who are current or retired members of the force.

Kozmiski noted that her late father was an officer in Mattapan in the mounted unit, her older brother was a captain, another brother is currently a lieutenant in operations, and a third brother serves in the canine unit. In addition, her sister is a retired officer and her nephew currently works as a detective.

“We’re just dedicated to serving the community,” she said.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.