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Neeley EMBA Alumna Pioneers Change as Highest Ranked Black Woman in the History of Fort Worth Police Department

Monica Martin serves as an executive leader, who expanded her knowledge of strategic planning, operations management and global perspectives while studying with her cohort to earn her Executive MBA at the Neeley School of Business.

February 29, 2024

By Amber Billops

Monica Martin’s story is one of resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. 

A highlight of that journey occurred just a few months after graduating with her Executive MBA from the TCU Neeley School of Business, when her career took another leap. Martin was promoted to Deputy Chief for the Community Safety Program, making her the first Black woman to achieve this rank in the 150-year history of the Fort Worth Police Department. 

Monica poses with six police men

She credits her family and a robust network of supporters with inspiring her to reach her goals, and achieve a milestone first for her community.  

“My journey from a small town in East Texas to the highest-ranked black female officer in the department's history is not just a personal achievement but a beacon of hope and inspiration for the community I serve,” Martin said.

Born and raised in Overton, Texas, Martin’s path to law enforcement was not predetermined. When she relocated to Fort Worth with her family, her deep-seated desire to protect her loved ones grew. A major part of that influence came from her stepfather, who was also a police officer.

Within the Fort Worth Police Department, she served in patrol, background investigations, recruiting, and as a court liaison supervisor with each experience providing new experiences and enhancing her leadership skills.

Monica with fellow female police officers by the Fort Worth Water Gardens

For Martin, leadership extends far beyond the responsibilities of her role; it is a commitment to enhancing public safety, trust and accountability, “I recognize the significance of my position and the responsibility it entails,” Monica said. As a result, she looks for opportunities to support others.

Central to Martin’s ethos is the principle of resilience, a steadfast resolve to overcome adversity and inspire others to do the same. Her message to the next generation of women in law enforcement is one of empowerment, urging them to defy stereotypes, and chart their own path to success.

Newy Scruggs and Monica Martin in purple graduation robesMartin’s impact resonates with colleagues, community members, and former Neeley EMBA classmates, like Newy Scruggs. 

"Monica is a tremendous lady. We're lucky to have her as a role model, as a black female officer. For her to make this kind of commitment and accomplish as a mom, an officer, and to get two promotions, it really is mind-boggling and mind-blowing," said Scruggs, NBC 5 Sports Director.

As Martin reflects on her journey, she remains guided by three fundamental principles: resilience, professionalism, and love. These pillars form the bedrock of her approach to policing, infusing every interaction with compassion, empathy, and integrity; and fill her parents - Kalpka and Glen Edney - with pride.

Monica at TCU Graduation"Monica's journey embodies unwavering determination, resilience, and a passion for community service. Her historic achievement as the First Black Female Deputy Chief reflects her deep-rooted sense of duty, commitment to excellence, and advocacy for diversity," Glen Edney said.

Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles along the way, she remained focused on her goals and worked tirelessly to break through barriers and shatter glass ceilings.”