Trenton names its first female, African-American police director

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The mayor of Trenton has named veteran law enforcement officer Sheilah Coley as acting police director.

Coley has about 30 years of experience in law enforcement and is the first African-American woman to hold the position in Trenton.

Coley served in the Air Force and served in the Newark Police Department for 25 years. She then became the public safety director in East Orange.

“I see challenges as opportunities to do great work and to move things around,” Coley says. “I’m ready to get to work and see what happens.”

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora says that challenges will come with this job.

“We have neighborhoods, we don't have traditional gangs and that's why it's so important for police to really immerse themselves in neighborhoods and really restore the confidence in the business community that Trenton is a safe place to go downtown,” the mayor says.

Coley says that she will use her experience in urban environments to bring community policing to Trenton neighborhoods.

“I want to give you hope. Hope that I will work with you, hope that we are going to move this city forward. Hope that you're going to have a true and meaningful partnership with the police department,” she says.

Coley will now wait for confirmation by the Trenton City Council and approval by the Department of Community Affairs. If Gusciora's nomination passes a City Council vote, Coley will be Trenton's fifth police director since the mayor took office in July.

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