VERO BEACH — Originally from Vero Beach, Capt. Argatha Gilmore moved to Tallahassee in 1978 to study criminology at Florida State. She earned her bachelor’s degree from FSU and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida A&M University. Just weeks after starting her career with the Tallahassee Police Departmen on August 31, 1984, Capt. Gilmore knew she wanted to become a police chief. New to the force, Gilmore was handed a survey asking what she wanted to accomplish at TPD. Police chief was her written answer. That was 25 years ago. The aspiration not only remains, it will soon be attained.
Capt. Gilmore will move on to become the new police chief for the Lake City Police Department. She becomes that city’s first woman and African-American chief.”I think it’s great and wonderful,” she said. “It shows that the country has come a long way. But most importantly, when we put on the uniform, it’s not about gender or color. We’re just police folk that want to get the job done.”Gilmore began her career organizing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and now finishes as the captain overseeing patrolling of the southern half of the city.”I believe I have the leadership skills and experience, but not just that,” Gilmore said. “I still enjoy doing what I do. I just enjoy police work.”