DETROIT (AP) _ Commander Mary Jarrett-Jackson, former head of the Detroit police crime lab, has been promoted to deputy chief, becoming the department's highest- ranking woman officer since its 1974 reorganization, officials said.

''When I came on in '58, I never dreamed that this was a possibility - it wasn't at that time,'' Jarrett-Jackson, 53, said after her promotion Thursday.

Prior to 1974, the police department had a separate women's division headed by a female chief.

An officer for 28 years, Jarrett-Jackson will head the department's western operations bureau, replacing Joe Areeda, who died earlier this year.

An expert in serology, the science dealing with the actions and properties of serums, Jerrett-Jackson interned at Scotland Yard in 1972 and commanded the crime lab from 1975-1982.