Women police officers in Hillsdale NJ hope to inspire others

A lacrosse game became the catalyst for a historic moment for Hillsdale police last week.

An all-female shift happened for the first time after a sergeant requested a schedule change to watch an afternoon game April 25, That night, Sgt. Liz Zimmerman, Officer Amanda Turrin and Civil Dispatcher Amna Hijab served together.

“I just happened to switch that day because I was trying to get to my kid’s lacrosse game,” Zimmerman said. Now they are hoping this will inspire other departments to have a diverse force as well.

The department is extremely proud of the strides it has made over the past 20 years. In 2001, Hillsdale did not have a female on the force. 

Left to right, Civil Dispatcher Amna Hijab, Sgt. Liz Zimmerman and Officer Amanda Turrin, outside of Hillsdale Police Department on May 3, 2021, served on the first all-female shift in Hillsdale on April 25.

“It didn’t dawn us until the outgoing sergeant from the shift before was like, ‘We have to take a picture,’ and I  said, ‘Take a picture for what?’ ” Zimmerman said. “It didn’t click. I was like, ‘Why do you want a picture?’ I thought he was joking or something.” 

“He said, ‘Liz, this is history. This is the only time ever that we have had a full female shift,’ and that is when we all looked at each other like, ‘Oh, my God, he’s right.’ “

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