Monica Alexander made Washington state history Tuesday morning when she became the first female African-American captain in the Washington State Patrol.
Alexander, who lives in Tacoma, started working for the agency in November 1996, and Chief John Batiste said he knew even then that she was special.
“I had the honor of recruiting her,” Batiste said. “She was an upbeat, strong-willed young lady. After seeing her work for awhile, it was a given that Monica would go far in the organization.”
During her time with the State Patrol, Alexander has worked the roads from Seattle to Olympia. In her new position, she’ll be the agency’s liaison to the Legislature and oversee media relations.
She said dozens of friends and family members are in town celebrating the promotion. They took up about five rows of seating at Tuesday’s ceremony, which took place at Washington State Patrol Headquarters on the Capitol Campus.
“It’s really great to accomplish something like this, but it’s even better when you have people you can share this with,” Alexander said.
Her husband, Johnny Alexander, also was promoted to captain.
“We’re also the first married couple to be promoted at the same time,” Monica Alexander said. “So it’s a very exciting day.”
Johnny Alexander works in the Washington State Patrol’s special operations division, which oversees the agency’s aviation division and security for the governor.
Batiste said he expects Monica Alexander to excel in her new position — just as she has in her previous jobs.
“She’s a hard worker and very dedicated to the agency,” Batiste said. “And she’s a wonderful person.”