OIL CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Oil City’s new police chief is breaking barriers, becoming the first female and Black person to hold the job in the town’s history.

Chief Diane Williams grew up in Oil City and says she knew even as a little girl that she wanted to become a police officer.

“You have to have a passion and a calling for it. I’ve always felt that. I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Williams said.

She was sworn in on Tuesday. Mayor James Sims says he recommended her to become the new chief after the last chief retired because she earned the position.

“I’m proud. I really am. But then to be honest with you, she had to be promotable. Her dedication, her hard work as a police officer and as a lieutenant, the commitment to the job was already there.” Mayor Sims said. “So I was excited to pull her up to the next level because I felt in my heart she had all the qualifications.”

Williams graduated from the police academy in Bossier in 2001 and has been with the Oil City Police Department for the past eight years serving as lieutenant.

“Most of the people here know me and they know I’m going to be fair. They know I’m going to do my job and if they need me, I’m going to come.”

Chief Williams is also a mother of a 25-year-old daughter who is studying at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. She says she is proud to break through a glass ceiling.

“That’s exactly what it is, breaking into the boy’s club. I think it’s something all females that want to get into this field, they can if they can get the job done. It does not matter what color you are.”

Williams said her main goal as the new chief will be simply keeping her hometown safe. Her priorities include adding body cameras and upgraded Tasers for the department.

Mayor Sims said the town hall has an open door policy for any resident in need of assistance.