U.S. Park Police Chief Pamela A. Smith, who last year became the first Black woman to lead the agency in its 230-year history, is retiring at the end of the month after serving one year in her position.
Deputy Chief Christopher Stock will serve as the interim chief until a permanent replacement is selected, according to a news release posted on the agency’s website Friday.
“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to cap off my career as the chief of the United States Park Police after spending my entire career within its ranks,” Smith said in a statement. “I am proud of the dedication and professionalism of the entire workforce as we continue to meet the demands of a modern law enforcement organization.”
The agency is tasked with protecting visitors, tourists and sites in federally managed parks throughout the United States.
Throughout Smith’s two-plus decades of work with the agency, she has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.
Smith was the first woman to lead the New York field office as its major.
“I thank Chief Smith for her leadership and 24 years of loyal and faithful service to the United States Park Police,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “I respect her decision and congratulate her on her retirement.”