Indian American Sikh Lt Manmeet Colon takes over as Connecticut’s assistant police chief



Lt. Manmeet Colon became the first Indian American Sikh woman to become the assistant police chief of Connecticut. Colon has created a history of sorts as she is the first multilingual Indian American woman to ascend to the local force’s highest rank held by any. Her career in the department, her skills as a police officer and leader have been praised by city commissioners.

Manmeet Colon was officially sworn in on Friday, March 24. “It sets the bar extremely high for me,” she told WTNH (News8 channel). “But I do well under pressure. The more pressure I have, the better work I produce. I hope I can live up to it all — and it’s time to get to work.” Colon is one of three assistant police chiefs in the department.

Colon’s appointment as assistant chief was unanimously approved on March 14 by the Board of Police Commissioners during the group’s monthly meeting held online. Police Chief Karl Jacobson had chosen Colon to be his third assistant chief.

New Haven has 17 percent woman police officers in its ranks, as compared to the 11 or 12 percent nationally. Since Jacobson took over as the chief of NHPD seven months ago the number of women and minority officers in supervisory and leadership roles has grown from 26 percent to 43 percent in the Elm City. Jacobson has said that his selection has been on the basis of merit. “These are the best people for these positions. They just happen to be female and minority,” he said.

Colon was the district manager in Westville/West Hills, East Rock, and, Dixwell. Colon said that her current job in the Internal Affairs Division has prepared her to step into the new position. “I take pride having been given such a complex task in holding members [of the department] accountable. I believe in the Chief’s goals of diversifying the ranks and providing officers the tools they need.” Read more about Colon’s career in the New Haven Police Department here.

Police Commissioner Michael Lawlor said he took special pride in the appointment of Colon, a native of Mumbai, India, as she was his student at the University of New Haven before she graduated from the city’s police academy in 2008. “How proud we are with just the idea that we have so many people on the force with different cultural backgrounds in it. In Lt. Colon’s case, a native Punjabi speaker. It’s so important we have people to whom our citizens can relate. And I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone as humble. She’ll be a great member of the team.”

“This is a great day for the City of New Haven,” said Police Commission Chair Evelise Ribeiro, ​“and also for the Indian community and women of color in the city and state; another glass ceiling has been broken.”


Related posts