Sheilah Coley smiles as she is officially presented as the department's first female police chief.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez
On Tuesday, Newark introduced its first female chief of police, filling the position for the first time since it was dissolved in 2008, according to The Star-Ledger.
Sheilah Coley, a 22-year department veteran of the department, called on residents and police to work together to help the city overcome its struggles.
"I will be in the community. I will listen to the community and together we will come up with resolutions to move this city forward, " she said at a press conference. "This is a city that we all love. We should not be on opposite ends of the spectrum."
Mayor Cory Booker said Coley was appointed because she was the best person for the job, not because she was a woman.
“What makes her so extraordinary as a leader is not her gender or her race but her competency and her proven contributions to the city police department,” he said.
She has served as the head of Internal Affairs, the city police academy, Newark's often violent fifth precinct and the city's sex crime units.