Yvette Tate, 43, a D.C. police lieutenant who supervised the executive protection unit, died Aug. 30 of leiomyosarcoma cancer at her home in Cheltenham.

A 21-year veteran of the force, Lt. Tate had led the 18-member unit that protected the mayor, other elected officials and visiting dignitaries in the Washington area since 2002.

She joined the police department in 1984, patrolling in the 7th District in Southeast and later becoming a fingerprint technician. In 1988, she was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the 5th District as a patrol sergeant, and from 1990 to 1995, she worked as a detective sergeant in that Northeast district.

Continuing her rise in the department, she became a lieutenant and moved to the 4th District in Northwest as night watch commander and shortly after became administrative lieutenant in the 6th District, east of the Anacostia River. From 1996 to 1999, she worked in the homicide division. She also help establish the Force Investigative Team, which handles shootings involving police.

"In whatever position she held throughout her career there, she gained the respect of those she worked with, and for many people, she was a role model," Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said in a statement. "She is remembered for her energy, her desire to make a difference in people's lives, her excitement as she took on new challenges and her enthusiasm for empowering women in their careers."

Born Yvette Anderson in Washington, she was a military brat who attended high school in Athens before graduating from a school in Phoenix.

She returned to the Washington area in 1979 to attend the University of Maryland. She worked as a saleswoman at the Woodward & Lothrop department store in downtown Washington before deciding to become a police officer. She graduated from U-Md. in 1999 and from the FBI Academy in 2000.

After her cancer was diagnosed in 2002, she trained for and completed the Marine Corps Marathon and participated in a number of charity walks for breast cancer. She received a master's degree in management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 2003.

Lt. Tate was a member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden and was active in several ministries. Among them was the cancer support ministry, in which she offered encouraging words to others with the disease.

She was a founding member of the Bowie-Mitchellville chapter of the National Council of Negro Women and had served as secretary and sergeant-at-arms. She also belonged to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Survivors include her husband of 17 years, Robert L. Tate of Cheltenham; two children, Alyssa A. Tate and Robert H. Tate, both of Cheltenham; her parents, Jesse Anderson of Phoenix and Dolores Y. Anderson of New Carrollton; and a brother, Jesse Anderson Jr. of Phoenix.

Lt. Yvette Tate led the executive protection unit.