Indianapolis, Ind - We're focusing on Central Indiana schools in August for Your Town Friday and we're starting in the largest district in the state!
Students at Indianapolis Public Schools start Monday.
The woman we met this week has a bigger role at IPS this year than she ever expected.
"It’s been almost a month and they still talk about it like the day I told them!"
And how could Tonia Guynn's daughter's not be proud? Their mom is a history-maker!
"I was working full-time insurance and I was a single parent so I wanted something to supplement my income and my mother had a lead with IPS, so I decided to apply part-time for the dispatch position and got hired."
She helped people over the phone for a handful of years before applying to carry the badge as a full-time officer. Eventually she earned the rank of sergeant and then captain, her title the last five years.
Until a month ago.
Today, she's leading the IPS Police Department.
Did she expect such a thing?
"No! I’m starting to believe it more and more daily, but it was surreal."
Interim-Chief Guynn is the first black woman to be the boss of the department. She says she never saw anyone that looked like her in a spot like this when she was growing up.
"Not in police work, no. It is monumental. I never envisioned that I would be chief of a police department and I’m so excited about it."
"It definitely shows with dedication and hard work, a single black female that was a single mom can come into an entry level position and rise to be first in command of a police department."
One of Chief Guynn's priorities is to get all IPS officers SRO trained. Student Resource Officer training will sharpen their mentoring, counseling and de-escelation skills.
She says this is training the officers would use daily. A quarter of the department is currently trained.
She's hearing from students she hasn't seen in years!
"I’ve gotten congratulations from students and actually a student I had here at Arlington is getting ready to apply to be an officer!"
Everyone we met is thrilled with her promotion, but of course her family members will always be her biggest cheerleaders.
"My family, oh they’re great. Jackson, who is my grandson, he’s just ecstatic. They’re very supportive. They brag on the fact that I’m the chief of the police and I said, quit telling people I’m the chief of the PD! They’re very proud of me."