New York, Mar 27 (IANS): Indian-origin Sikh Manmeet Colon has been sworn in as first assistant police chief of Connecticut's New Haven city, becoming the department's first Indian-American and second female assistant chief of colour to rise to the top position.
The Board of Police Commissioners in New Haven unanimously approved the appointment of Colon, 37, who was previously a lieutenant in the internal affairs office, The New Haven Independent reported.
Mumbai-born Colon moved with her family to Queens when she was 11, and studied criminal justice at the University of New Haven.
Colon hoped that her status as the department's first Indian-American assistant chief inspires others from similar backgrounds to pursue careers in law enforcement.
"I come from a Sikh family. I speak Punjabi. I'm very proud of my heritage," Colon was quoted as saying in The New Haven Independent.
"More important is the mission and the values of the department. To me, it's all about being fair and impartial. My background, my morals, my family values and traditions a I feel like I bring a lot to the table. I'm glad there's a space for me at the table," she added.
Colon's daughter pinned the new assistant chief badge on her mother's uniform, as Mayor Justin Elicker then administered the oath of office earlier this month.
"A trailblazer, AC Colon is the 2nd woman of colour & the 1st of Indian descent to serve in the position in the history of the NHPD - and I'm confident she will continue to serve our city w/honor & distinction in this new role," Elicker tweeted.
In her tenure with the New Haven Police Department (NHPD), Colon has worked in patrol, as a detective in the special victims unit, as a sergeant supervising the robbery and burglary unit, as a lieutenant and district manager for Newhallville and Dixwell, and most recently as the head of the Internal Affairs division.
Police Chief Karl Jacobson, who had recommended Colon, hoped that the Indian-American's appointment will inspire more women to join the New Haven Police Department, which is currently 17 per cent female.
"This is a great day for the City of New Haven, and also for the Indian community and women of colour in the city and state; another glass ceiling has been broken," Police Commission Chair Evelise Ribeiro said.