The past several years have been difficult ones for everyone, including law enforcement.
Amid a backdrop of racial and community tensions regionally and nationally as well as the challenges and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, both individuals and organizations have had monumental challenges. In this, Rome is no different. Many of our individuals have struggled; our agencies reshuffled; our healthcare facilities stretched; our schools in limbo; and our police on a constantly shifting and evolving front line.
We can, and should, be grateful to live in a community, where unlike many others across the nation, pulled mostly together instead of pulling apart. It is evident in the adaptability of our schools, our hospitals — and, as evidenced Wednesday — in our police department.
The Rome Police Department promoted and swore in a new deputy police chief and a new captain during a ceremony at City Hall Wednesday morning. David J. Collins is the department’s first Black deputy chief; and Lt. Mark A. Glasso, who understands the critical mission public safety organizations play in the health and well being of individuals of all abilities, was promoted to captain.
We will leave the discussion and impacts of race for others; although we gladly acknowledge this milestone for the community, the department and for the individual.
While certainly, Collins and Glasso have their share of differences — the two, by all accounts — have many similarities.
Both men are proud graduates of Rome Free Academy, Glasso in 1991 and Collins in 1993. Both began careers outside of law enforcement but felt the pull of public safety. Each faced a variety of personal challenges along the way to becoming a police officer before eventually being appointed to the department in 2005. From the academy to now, both Collins and Glasso have paid their dues — working their way up from the squad car to the night shift to supervisory and now administrative roles. Along the way, both have not just risen through the ranks, but have developed keen insights about the department and the community.
During Tuesday’s promotion ceremony, Chief Kevin C. Beach lauded the community for its unwavering support. He also lauded Collins and Glass for their dedication to the job and the high standards each has for the department and its officers as well as their abilities. He also commended a dozen officers, of diverse backgrounds and individual attributes, who were promoted to various ranks throughout the department.
Between these promotions and more than a dozen new hires over the past two years, Beach said, “The face of the department is changing.”
What hasn’t changed, as Collins and Glasso evidence, is desire to protect, serve, evolve and a persistence to see those efforts to fruition.