A public leadership role is nothing new for Cindy Mustachio.
On Thursday, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office announced the 1st lieutenant would serve as assistant jail commander, making her the second woman to serve on the sheriff’s office command staff.
The first was Judy Mecum, who served as captain in the Criminal Investigations Division in 1992.
Mustachio is an 18-year law enforcement veteran who started her career in Cherokee County after earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega. She has been with Hall County since 2005.
Her interest in public service was partially fostered by her parents-in-law.
“They were both some form of government servant in Gwinnett County,” she said.
Whether it was in work, school or elsewhere, Mustachio said she’s “always been in some type of a leadership role.”
As assistant commander to Capt. Danny Woods, Mustachio will help him with the day-to-day responsibilities of the jail. She is excited to be a part of the new leadership team at the office.
“I’m very excited. Sheriff (Gerald) Couch has been around for a long time and he has a lot of great ideas — new ideas — things that are going to work for the agency,” she said.
Mustachio’s promotion comes at a time of noticeable uptick of women in government leadership. In the November elections, a record 20 women entered the U.S. Senate in Washington.
And while his Cabinet is less diverse than in the past, President Barack Obama nominated record-setting numbers of women and minorities to the federal judiciary.
Although Mustachio is only the second woman on the command staff, she said there isn’t a glass ceiling.
“I’ve always thought there’s been some opportunity there,” she said. “Women don’t traditionally seek out that role, but it’s very possible in this agency if you work hard.”
Mustachio said she has always had her family’s support for her less conventional line of work.
“I have looked toward my mother-in-law,” she said. “She was in law enforcement before me and she really enjoyed it. I have the same personality, very energetic, very driven, and it works well.”
Mustachio has been with the sheriff’s office since 2001, initially serving in the Court Services Division before transferring to the Jail Division, where she recently served as shift commander.
An officer since 1995, she served with police departments in Woodstock and Suwanee and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office prior to joining the Hall County office.