NEWARK - The city of Newark is honoring its first black female police chief Sheilah Coley, a 25-year veteran of the force.

Coley was celebrated Thursday night at the Newark Club by the Newark Bronze Shields African-American Police organization. Chief Coley thanked the women who paved the way for her. She was sworn in back in August and was immediately put to the test. "The first week after I was sworn in, we had an earthquake and a hurricane," recalled Coley. "So after we got that out of the way, I was ready to handle anything that was going to come my way."

There were fewer than two dozen women on the Newark police force when Coley joined the department back in 1987. Today, there are more than 202.