For only the second time in the long history of the Anderson Police Department, a woman has been named a division commander.

Jan Songer, 46, a 20-year member of APD, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant with responsibilities as division commander of the detective division.

Along with the promotion, Songer will receive a pay increase of $4,067 to an annual salary of $49,253.

Barbara Murphy was the first woman to be a division commander in the 1980s.

“It is surreal to be at the same level as the people you looked up to when first joining the department,” Songer said. “I have always believed in doing something right if I’m going to do it.”

Aside from moving into a new office, the new title will bring little change in her daily routine.

“This is not a big change,” Songer said. “I had been the day shift sergeant for the division.”

The new job description includes overseeing the departmental budget, the annual report, complaints from the public and internal investigations.

“The sergeants assign the cases,” Songer said. “I’m available to answer questions about the cases.”

Songer recorded the highest score on the test used to determine rank. The tests are conducted every two years, she said.

“I was surprised I tested at No. 1,” she said as she smiled. “It would have been fine with me if I had been put in the uniform division.”

Songer said she has to make sure the work is being done and to provide assistance when needed.

“The biggest challenge will be trying to deal with the budget constraints,” she said. “I will also be involved in efforts to get the various divisions working together.”

Before joining the Anderson Police Department, Songer worked as manager of a bank branch for seven years.

“I always wanted to be a police officer,” she said. “I want to put people in jail that make you afraid to go out at night.”

Songer spent 10 years as a patrol officer and 10 years as a sergeant before making lieutenant.

“I really liked working in the uniform division,” she said laughingly. “It was the most fun. You’re doing what you were hired to do when working in the uniform division, which is helping people.”

Songer grew up near Lapel and graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School. She attended Indiana University.

In addition to working for the Police Department, Songer recently obtained her broker’s license to be a real estate agent.

She is married to APD officer Floyd Songer, who is now working with the Anderson City Court.

Floyd Songer has been a member of APD for 16 years.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” he said of his wife’s promotion. “It didn’t surprise me; she is a very intelligent lady. She takes the job seriously and works hard.”

Songer said his wife’s new rank was earned by hard work.

Another advantage is that the couple will now be able to spend more time together.

“This will be the first time in many years that we shared the same work hours and the same day off,” she said.

Songer said she plans to retire from APD within the next decade and will then work full-time as a real estate agent.

“We used to travel a lot,” she said of the couple’s free time. “Last year we built our dream house, so we’re doing a lot of work on it.”

Trending Video