Many people know her as Executive Assistant Chief Cynthia Villarreal, but not many know about her 40 year journey in the department. In 1975, you were likely to hear Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell on the radio and All In The Family was the top rated show on TV; however and more importantly to us, that’s the year that Chief Villarreal joined the department. She was following her dream to be a law enforcement officer and the Dallas Police Department was progressive enough to be hiring Hispanic females. Prior to 1975, the department, like many others, did not have Hispanic females. She completed the academy and went to patrol in the Southwest Division, where she spent 3 years.
She left Patrol to be a recruiter. She was the first female recruiter for the department. From there, she became one of six officers that spearheaded the effort to start a mounted unit. These six officers brought their own horses and trailers. From 1980 to 1982 they help reduce crime, and in 1982 the department officially established the Mounted Unit. Chief V, as many call her, stayed in that unit until 1988.
She was ready and on target for her next assignment in this journey. She went to be an instructor at the Firearms Training Center. That’s right; Chief V was and still is a sharp shooter! Riding horses and shooting guns… it’s almost like she loved the Wild West.
Next stop was Property Crimes. She became a detective, and she did this until her promotion to Sergeant. Then Sgt. Villarreal went to Southeast and stayed there for about 4 years. It didn’t take long before she was breaking ground again and became the first female Range Master. She stayed at the Pistol Range until her promotion to Deputy Chief in 1999.
As a Chief, she has worked in different divisions such as Personnel, Northwest and Office of the Chief of Police. In 2006, she was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police and this year to Executive Assistant Chief. Her father told her that she wouldn’t last three days…well it’s been 40 years!