Indian-origin Sikh woman sworn in as Connecticut’s first assistant police chief
27 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Her appointment as the department's first Indian-American assistant chief would inspire others from similar backgrounds to enter the law enforcement profession.
Lieutenant Manmeet Colon, an Indian-origin Sikh woman officer, was named Assistant Chief of Police in the US state of Connecticut, becoming the department’s first Asian-origin second-in-command, according to the New Haven Independent.
Lt Manmeet Colon took the oath of office on Friday, surrounded by dozens of friends, family members, city workers, and police colleagues, to become the city’s third assistant police chief – and the department’s first-ever second-in-command of Asian descent. Colon hoped that her appointment as the department’s first Indian-American assistant chief would inspire others from similar backgrounds to enter the law enforcement profession.
“I come from a Sikh family. I speak Punjabi. I’m very proud of my heritage,” Colon was quoted as saying in The New Haven Independent.
“More important is the mission and the values of the department. To me, it’s all about being fair and impartial. My background, my morals, my family values and traditions. I feel like I bring a lot to the table. I’m glad there’s a space for me at the table,” she added.
The appointment of Colon, 37, who was previously a lieutenant in the internal affairs office, was unanimously approved by the New Haven Board of Police Commissioners, according to The New Haven Independent.
She joins fellow assistant chiefs David Zannelli and Bertram Ettienne in what Board of Police Commissioners Chair Evelise Ribeiro described on Friday as Police Chief Karl Jacobson’s “dream team” at the department’s helm.
Ribeiro described Friday’s ceremony as “another glass ceiling being broken,” noting that Colon, a 15-year NHPD veteran who was born in Mumbai, India and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 11 years old, is now the department’s second female assistant chief of colour and its first Indian assistant chief.
During her time with the NHPD, Colon has risen through the ranks and held a variety of positions. According to the New Haven Independent, she worked in patrol, as a detective in the special victim’s unit, as a sergeant supervising the robbery and burglary unit, as a lieutenant and district manager for Newhallville and Dixwell, and most recently as the head of the Internal Affairs division.