Greenburgh’s Angela Rashad overcomes culture shocks to be town’s first black, female detective

Angela Rashad has paid her dues.

After five years as a government secretary and eight years as a Greenburgh patrol officer, she is now the department’s first black female detective — and the first woman to work as a detective in the department since 1994.

“I didn’t grow up saying I want to be a police officer,” she said. “But after becoming a police officer, this is what I wanted to do.”

Rashad, 36, joined the 15-member detective division three weeks ago, but she is no stranger to detective work. She has spent years helping with sexual-assault and child-abuse investigations, using her education in sociology and experience as a mother to talk to victims.

“She knows how to deal with people,” police Chief Joseph DeCarlo said. “She’s an outstanding officer.”

Organizations for black and female police officers say Rashad’s promotion is rare, as blacks and women each make up less than 15 percent of police officers nationwide, and black women make up even less.

When you’re talking special assignments, you’re talking about 1 percent” nationally who are minorities, said Ron Hampton, director of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. “She’s in a unique class, not only in that department but probably in New York state.”

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