Baltimore County police swear in 1st female and 1st Jewish Police Chief

"People need to see someone who looks like them to be able to envision themselves in roles," Melissa Hyatt says.

June 18, 2019 21:51
1 minute read.
Jewish Museum of Maryland on the left and the Chizuk Amuno Synagogue on the right, Baltimore city

Jewish Museum of Maryland, Lloyd St., Baltimore City, Maryland Lloyd Street Synagogue on the left and the Chizuk Amuno Synagogue on the far right. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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For the first time, a woman will lead the Baltimore County police department. Melissa Hyatt was sworn in as its 14th chief on Monday, The Baltimore Sun reported. And since Hyatt also happens to be Jewish, her appointment also marks the first time that a Jewish officer has held the position.

“The need to rebuild relationships between our police and our communities has not been this crucial since the civil rights movement of the 1960s,” the 43-year-old said during her swearing-in ceremony, as reported by the local paper.

“There are challenges across our nation and our own neighborhoods. We cannot simply police our way out of it,” she added. “I recognize the need to build trust.”

Hyatt’s father Sidney, a retired police officer, was the one who pinned on her the new chief’s badge – as he had done with all of her previous promotions, she revealed. She added that his work inspired her to join the police, something she had wanted to do since she was a young child.

For the future, Hyatt expressed the hope that her role will inspire more women to join the police. 

"People need to see someone who looks like them to be able to envision themselves in roles," she said.

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