(McLoud-AP) -- A former Muskogee police officer and mother of two has made history as the first black woman to be a warden at an Oklahoma maximum-security prison.
Millicent Newton-Embry was appointed to the position in March but received the key to the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center last week at a change-of-command ceremony.
Her appointment follows the appointments of other black female wardens, including the 1992 appointment of Rita Maxwell as warden at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center for women and the 1995 appointment of Denise Spears as warden of the Howard McLeod Correctional Center for men.
Those are minimum-security facilities.
Ron Ward, Corrections Department director, says Newton-Embry has organizational skills and the ability to manage large, complex issues.
Newton-Embry started off as a music major in college, with the intent of making singing a career.
She was drawn to law enforcement, however, and graduated in 1984 with a criminal justice degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
Newton-Embry joined the Muskogee police department as one of six rookie officers and was the only woman in her class.