An inauguration was held Friday to celebrate the start of Terrica Williams' term as city constable — the first woman to serve in that office's top spot.
Over 150 people gathered in a Raising Cane's River Center meeting room to witness Williams' public inauguration, including judges, law enforcement officials, city government officers and local representatives from the Louisiana Legislature.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, the first woman to lead the city-parish, said Williams had made significant historical strides.
"In the 75-year history of the Constable's office, there's never been a woman constable. She's broken a glass ceiling," Broome said. "She's going to be a role model to young women considering joining law enforcement. Seeing her, they know the possibilities that exist."
The ceremony, like her campaign, touched on Williams' faith in God and the belief that hard work and trust in the Lord's will can deliver great things. Gerald Washington, a singer from Williams’ church, Capital Missionary Baptist, sang the gospel song “It’s Working,” and highlighted Williams’ belief that “God is leaning in my direction.”
During her oath of office, Williams was joined onstage by her 25-year-old son, Myron, who held the Bible as she took her oath. Myron said it was a "close moment" for the mother and son, and he was proud of his mother, who he described as "a hardworking woman, who, whatever she wants, she gets done."
Williams was equally touched by the family moment, and the number of community members and supporters who spent their Friday night with her.
“It shows that they really care, and they’re concerned. These are the people that voted for me,” she said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Williams follows a long line of men who led the law enforcement arm of Baton Rouge City Court: six elected since 1944, including three of whom served for more than a decade, according to City Hall election records.
The Friday event was a moment to highlight "the unity of the Baton Rouge community," Williams said. In December, Williams participated in a more intimate swearing in ceremony at the City Court building downtown.
"We've never had a woman constable before," said City Court Judge Yvette Alexander, who swore Williams into the position in December and again on Friday. "I'm so excited. I'm always excited about women breaking a ceiling. … I know she's going to do a great job."
Alexander added: "It's a good office right now, but it can be great, and I think she'll work and make it happen."
At her December swearing in, Williams held back tears as she addressed the small group supporting her.
"It's a historic moment, and it wasn't easy," Williams said. "We're ready to get to work."