By Dana Filipowsky
Nassau County made history Thursday when it comes to the rankings of women and minorities in the police department.
“Today, we celebrate the promotions and assignments of many talented men and women officers,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey. “Their extensive experience, professionalism and loyalty to protecting and serving the people of this great county makes them the ideal candidates for the promotions, assignments and designations they have been given.”
One of those being promoted is Karen O’Callaghan, who became the highest ranking woman in the 84-year history of the Nassau County Police Department when she was appointed Chief of Department. Previously, her assignments included Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism Bureau, Police Precincts, Police Academy, Personnel and Accounting Bureau, and the 2nd Precinct Detective Squad. In the past, O’Callaghan worked on patrol as a police officer as well as a supervisor and was also a negotiator with the Crisis Negotiation Team.
In another historic female police promotion, Keechant Sewell, became only the second African American woman in the department to advance to the rank of Lieutenant. She recently graduated from FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., as the Valedictorian.
Yet another woman making a major advancement is Lorna Atmore, who became the first African American female to advance to the rank of Captain in the Nassau County Police Department and the second African American in Nassau County’s to accomplish that rank.
“The Nassau County Department has worked very diligently to recruit minorities and it gives me great pride that at this afternoon’s ceremony the department will promote and designate many minority candidates including women, African Americans, Hispanics and an Asian to the supervisory and detective ranks,” Commissioner Mulvey said. “All have worked hard, performed well on promotional exams and are deserving of these promotions.”
Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi also expressed his excitement with the historic promotions. “We are making promotions that represent firsts,” he said. “We do what we can to make this department look like the people of Nassau County do.”
Later on in the day, a formal ceremony was held at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, where family members and friends of those promoted were invited to celebrate the achievements of these Nassau County Police Department men and women.
Among these historic distinctions, others who were promoted included newly appointed Chief of Patrol Robert Turk, Chief of Detectives Steven Skrynecki and Chief of Support Kevin Lowry.