New Visalia police captain using her path to inspire others

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Visalia Police Department has a new leader, Capt. Luma Fahoum.

She was promoted in May and is currently the highest-ranking female in the department.

A role she takes very seriously in a career she's loved for years.

"I am as excited about my profession as I was 24 years ago when I started as a records clerk in the Tulare Police Department, and I take great pride in it," she said.

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

"I genuinely love people, and I thought law enforcement was going to be interesting, challenging and a way to help people," she said.

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

"Luma is driven, she is a hard worker, a good street cop, a good investigator but most importantly, she is empathetic and she cares about people," he said.

Her journey as an officer started with VPD in 1999 and she 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 make it all worthwhile.

"And it circles back and tells me how they've changed their life or gotten clean or sober," she said. "Easily, that is the most memorable for me and it happens more than you think."

She also oversees the Visalia Explorers Program, where she mentors teens and young adults with the same dreams that led her to this point.

"I think it's a noble and honorable profession, and I hope to get that message out and recruit young officers who maybe aren't sure," she said.

Capt. Fahoum says she also hopes to see more females join the force.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.