When she was only four years old, Angela Stover knew what she wanted to be: a police officer. Stover is a 1987 graduate of Union City Community High School. When asked about Stover, retired teacher Phil DeHaven stated she was an outstanding student. Motivated, ambitious, and goal driven to make law enforcement her career.
That dream became a reality 16 years later, after Stover moved from the Midwest to California. In 1990, she was sworn in as an officer with the Fontana Police Department.
And now, Stover has achieved another milestone: She has moved up the ranks to become the first female captain in the history of the Fontana P.D.
“I’m incredibly excited,” the enthusiastic Stover said. “I’ve grown up with this organization; it’s been my family.”
For Stover, breaking barriers as a woman has not been her primary motivation. Instead, she said, “it was the dream of serving others.”
Stover said the department has undergone a lot of change this year.
“Any time there is change, there can be some uncertainty,” Stover said. “But we have extraordinary employees and I’m glad to be part of the team.”
Stover has always been very determined to reach her goals. She arrived in the San Bernardino area at the age of 18, with no family to support her, and she worked several jobs to obtain enough money to successfully put herself through the Sheriff’s Academy.
She was one of Fontana’s first female officers, and later became the first female member of the gang unit and the first woman to be a sergeant in this city.
As of September of last year, there were 17 women out of 184 sworn police positions in Fontana, including 15 officers and one corporal.
“Our roles are getting larger and larger,” Stover said. “All we ever asked for was a level playing field.”
One of her major roles in the future will be to implement the department’s body worn camera program, along with Sgt. David Lally. Last year, Fontana received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase 200 of the cameras, and after some delays, the program is expected to be fully implemented by June of 2017.
Stover said that she is optimistic that body worn cameras can increase accountability for both officers and community members.
“But it’s a new concept; we don’t yet understand the full impact that the cameras will have,” she said.
Stover, who has been married for 21 years and has two daughters, said that over the years, one of the most meaningful programs she has been involved with has been the Fontana P.D.’s Explorer program.
“I love mentoring and training people,” she said, and it was enjoyable for her to help the young Explorers develop their skills.
Working particularly with the teenage girls in the program, “I realized what a difference you can make in these young ladies’ lives,” she said.
Now as Captain Stover, she can continue to be a role model for many young people to follow.
Stover responded to the announcement by saying “I am really overwhelmed at how quickly and far it has spread. I appreciate the kind words and allowing my story to hopefully motivate others to a realization that childhood dreams do come true! Success is much easier when you are surrounded by greatness. While I am honored to have all the congratulatory comments, I am a humble servant. I want everyone to know that I was just one of 18 promotions at our organization since February 2016. Our agency is extraordinary and as I said I literally grew up within this organization. I would be remiss in everything I stand for if I did not tell you how excited I am to share this spotlight with the following FPD personnel who earned these recent promotions. Chief Robert Ramsey, Captain Obie Rodriguez, Captain Billy Green, Lt. Mike Dorsey, Lt. Jim Burton, Lt. Ron Koval, Lt. Matt Kraut, Sgt. Raul Fileto, Sgt. Liam Coughlin, Sgt. Scott Snyder, Sgt. Chris Tusant, Sgt. Ron Curtis, Cpl. Chris Macias, Cpl. Katie Clark, Cpl. Luis Valenzuela, Cpl. Jason Colloit, and Cpl. Justin Laing. Response has inspired and motivates me to find a way each day to better serve our employees and our community. I am very passionate about the footprint that I leave on the legacy of this organization. Congratulations to our employees who worked very hard to earn the coveted promotions. I am proud to serve with every one of you! Stay safe and may God continue to bless each and every one of you!”
Union City is proud of the contribution that graduates are making to the world. Stover is making a difference in Fontana, California. Union City is a great place to raise your children. What have you done this week to make a difference?
Linda DeHaven is the new author of the weekly column Union City News for The Daily Advocate. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.