On Wednesday, Sheila Coley was appointed by the Newark City Council of New Jersey as the first woman police chief in the department’s 175-year history. Coley will fill the newly re-established position after approval from the council. The position of police chief was removed in 2008 but was re-established Wednesday night.
In response to her appointment, Coley said “I am honored and excited by the challenge of becoming Newark’s first female chief of police. I promise my brothers and sisters in blue that I will give them the highest level of professional leadership and the citizens of Newark the best police force in the entire nation.”
Coley’s work with the Newark Police Department began in 1989 as a patrol officer and narcotics detective. In 2004, she was promoted to captain. Now as police chief, Coley will oversee day-to-day operations of a 1,100 member department. According to the National Center for Women & Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation, only 13% of police officers nationwide are women.