Lee County Sheriff’s Office, NAACP announce history-making promotions

Published: January 20, 2022 11:34 AM EST
Updated: January 21, 2022 10:55 AM EST

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the NAACP announced the promotion of two minorities in the sheriff’s office on Thursday.

According to a news release from the NAACP, Travis Hicks will be promoted to captain and will become the first Black man to lead the Internal Affairs Division at the sheriff’s office.

Nora Galloway will be promoted becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve as a lieutenant in the internal affairs investigation.

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement two summers ago after the death of George Floyd, Lee County NAACP President James Muwakkil asked Sheriff Carmine Marceno to diversify the upper ranks.

“We talked about diversifying upper management way back last year,” Muwakkil said. “He said he would when the opportunity came, as long as they were qualified.  The sheriff kept his word.”

Muwakkil said he is happy the sheriff kept his word and promoted someone the first chance he got.

“If somebody has a complaint against our sheriff’s office, they are going to talk to the captain or the lieutenant, an African-American male or Hispanic female and that is a great day,” Marceno said, adding that, “We are covering all the bases to ensure that our great residents feel comfortable, they feel trust, they have the rapport.”

Marceno said the sheriff’s office is diverse, but it’s critical to have diverse voices in the unit that hears the community’s complaints.

“Let’s say there is an African-American man who feels he is treated unfairly. Maybe sometimes he doesn’t just want to reach out and speak to a Caucasian male,” Marceno said. “Sometimes the Hispanic culture only wants to talk to the Hispanic culture so we are covering all the bases to ensure that our great residents feel comfortable.”

The honor for Hicks comes on his 20th anniversary on the job.

Meanwhile, Galloway has been with the agency for close to 19 years.

The two deputies have worked in all areas of the sheriff’s office.

Marceno said Hicks and Galloway are deserving of the promotions.

The NAACP hopes these moves pave the way for more diversity inside of the sheriff’s office.

“This is just the beginning. This is a real good start,” Muwakkil said.