Visalia police captain using her path to inspire others

Capt. Luma Fahoum always knew she wanted to help the community in one way or another and says her job is the perfect fit.

Video Transcript

- ABC 30 has taken action to share inspiring stories in our community, and that includes a Visalia police officer who is moving up in the ranks, while helping others follow in her footsteps. Action News reporter Eliza Navarro shows us how the new captain is making an impact in her department and her community.

ELIZA NAVARRO: The Visalia Police Department has a new leader, Captain Luma Fahoum. She was promoted in May, and is currently the highest ranking female in the department, a role she takes very seriously and a career she's loved for years.

LUMA FAHOUM: I'm as excited about my profession as I was 24 years ago when I started as a records clerk at the Talery Police Department, and I take great pride in it.

ELIZA NAVARRO: Fahoum always knew she wanted to help the community in one way or another, and says her job is the perfect fit.

LUMA FAHOUM: I genuinely love people, and I thought law enforcement was going to be interesting and challenging, and a way to help people.

ELIZA NAVARRO: Chief Jason Salazar says her passion and dedication never go unnoticed.

JASON SALAZAR: Luma is driven. She is a hard worker. She's a good street cop. She's been a good investigator, but I think maybe more importantly, she's empathetic and she cares about people.

ELIZA NAVARRO: Her journey as an officer started with VPD in 1999, and she's steadily moved up the ranks. In 2013 she became a Sergeant, and in 2016 a Lieutenant. She has served as a Community Service Officer in the patrol division, field training unit, gang suppression unit, and the violent crimes unit. Although she often encounters people during the worst times in their lives, Fahoum says opportunities to make a positive difference and make it all worthwhile.

LUMA FAHOUM: And circles back and tells me how they've changed their life, or they've gotten clean, or sober, or whatever the case may be. Easily, that's the most memorable for me and it happens more than you think.

ELIZA NAVARRO: She also oversees the Visalia Explorer's Program, where she mentors teens and young adults with the same dreams that led her to this point.

LUMA FAHOUM: I think it's a noble and honorable profession, despite what anybody else may try and convince me. I won't hear it and I hope to get that message out [INAUDIBLE] young officers who maybe aren't sure.

ELIZA NAVARRO: Captain Fahoum said she also hopes to see more females join the force. In Visalia, Eliza Navarro, ABC 30 Action News.