Kim Royster had dreams of becoming a professional singer after leaving her small North Carolina town and heading to New York. While her artistic aims fell through, Royster has earned several achievements as a member of the New York Police Department and is the highest-ranked Black female officer on the force.
This week, Assistant Chief Royster was named second-in-command of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau. Serving under the force’s highest-ranked female officer, Chief Joanne Jaffe, this marks the first time women have run a division of the NYPD.
Royster joined the NYPD in 1985 as a clerical worker and became an officer in 1987. After achieving the rank of detective and working for 19 years, she became just the third Black female police chief after being promoted to second-in-command of the NYPD’s press office in 2013. She later became its chief. Two years later, she was promoted to head the Training Bureau’s Assessment Division.
The mother of two holds an Organizational Management degree from St. Joseph’s College and graduated from the Police Management Institute at Columbia University. Royster has been mostly modest about her rise in the force, but has said in interviews that she’s proud to be an inspiration for girls and women who work hard to achieve their goals.