Historic promotion: African-American female lieutenant 1st for state police

Lt. Andrea Boone has risen through the ranks after beginning her law enforcement career in 1996. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

DOVER — Always on the lookout for prospective new trooper candidates, Andrea Boone is an equal opportunity recruiter.

The Delaware State Police’s first ever African-American female lieutenant wants the deepest pool of talent possible to fill the ranks, so she’ll never discount anyone based on gender or race.

Candidates shouldn’t exclude themselves either, she said, no matter what their backgrounds are.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to show them and make them believe that things can work out,” she said.

The 52-year-old can relate to taking an unforeseen turn on the path to becoming a trooper.

Until a family member alerted her to a job listing for DSP applicants over 20 years ago, Lt. Boone never considered a law enforcement career.

For one thing, Lt. Boone was quite happy in what was then her “dream job” as a Circuit City manager in Wilmington.

“He told me they were looking for good people and though I know you love Circuit City, you would get the (State Police) job,” Lt. Boone recalled.

Plus, she wasn’t naturally attracted to viewing police officers as role models or picturing herself being one of them. Lt. Boone’s only recollection of police was a “nice young officer named Alice” who walked a beat on her street in Philadelphia.

“That’s the only memory I have of ever noticing a police officer,” she said.

Lt. Boone initially brushed off the idea for almost a year before the relative brought it up again.

“He saw something in me and wasn’t going to let it go,” Lt. Boone said. “I questioned myself because I loved Circuit City and thought some day I would be Miss Circuit City.”

Finally, she filled out an application in August 1995 almost on a whim. An approximately seven month-plus process followed before she was hired into the DSP Recruit Class on March 16, 1996.

In the past 20 years, she’s advanced through the ranks of Delaware’s law enforcement agency.

According to a news release on her most recent promotion, “When Lt. Boone called her mother to share the exciting news about a congratulatory call from Colonel McQueen, she recalled her mother Laura proudly shouting, ‘Finally!’ And repeatedly stating, ‘I’m so proud, I’m so happy for you.’ ”

Lt. Andrea Boone will serve as the DSP’s Assistant Director of the Human Resources Section based at headquarters in Dover. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

She admitted to being nervous when responding to her first call to assist a motorist on Kirkwood Highway.

“While I love talking to people and resolving their situations (which I did at Circuit City), I realized this was something far different,” said Lt. Boone, who has held a rifle in the DSP’s Honor Guard for the last 18 years.

She is heavily involved in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority that supports the community with an emphasis on young persons and Christian values. Her workout of choice is yoga, and she enjoys running.

The State Police recently spotlighted her promotion — effective Aug. 13 — with a public announcement.

“Andrea Boone’s promotion to the rank of lieutenant is the result of a distinguished career and one I fully expect to continue as she assumes her new role as the assistant director of the Human Resources Section,” said Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., the first-ever African-American to command the DSP when promoted in December 2012.

“This significant achievement is a historic first, to be celebrated as she becomes the first African-American female to achieve this rank and position.”

Of 733 troopers on the force, 628 are white, 65 black, 23 Hispanic, six American Indian/Alaskan native and 11 Asian/Pacific Islander. There are 637 men and 96 women.

White males make up 74 percent of the troop, followed by white females (11.5 percent), black males (8 percent) and Hispanic males (2.8 percent),

Commenting on the promotion in the announcement, Lt. Boone said, “I attribute my success to first of all prayer, because I truly believe that prayer works.

“I also attribute it to hard work, the unwavering support of many, many, many family members and friends and that includes co-workers, and certainly to those that came before me and paved the way because without them I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here today. You know someone once told me the secret to getting ahead is getting started, and that I truly believe.”

Lt. Boone urged anyone interested in a possible Delaware State Police career to go online to www.becomeatrooper.com.

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