First Female Police Chief Starts In Milwaukee


Nan Hegerty was sworn in yesterday as the first woman to lead Milwaukee’s police department. “My pledge to all of you is that I will work cooperatively with you to reduce crime, especially violent crime, and make Milwaukee a safer place to live,” she said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

About 10 hours after the ceremony, Hegerty met with 50 residents concerned about crime in their neighborhood. “Crime is not a police problem. Crime is a community problem,” she said.

The new chief was still smiling at the end of a day that began at 6 a.m. with a television news interview. After the interview, Hegerty attended roll call at the Sensitive Crimes Division, which she headed before being sworn in as chief.

Hegerty became a Milwaukee police officer in 1976, was promoted to sergeant in 1987 and lieutenant in 1990. In 1991, she became Milwaukee’s first female captain. Three years later, President Clinton appointed her U.S. marshal, a job she held until May 2002.

Hegerty returned to the Police Department in December 2002. She emerged from a field of 14 applicants to be selected as chief.


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