CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Camden County Police Department promoted its first woman and Latina to the position of deputy police chief. Deputy Chief Janell Simpson, a Camden native, has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years, beginning in 2002 when she joined the Camden Police Department.
“We’ve come a long way from 20 years ago,” Simpson said. “But we also still have more to go, and I’m just excited about that.”
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After the municipal department dissolved and became the Camden County Police Department, Simpson was promoted to sergeant and led the special victims’ unit, where she helped successfully reunite several missing people with their families.
“I always wanted to be a police officer. I love my job,” Simpson said. “Contrary to whatever people may think, it’s an absolute great profession.”
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Her brother, Camden Fire Department Battalion Chief Gilberto Colon, Jr., said their mother was a driving force in her children’s lives.
“I know she’s in heaven, just shining down because it’s a proud moment for our family,” Colon, Jr. said. “She’s worked hard to get here.”
As second-in-command of the department, Simpson hopes to hire more homegrown officers, particularly women.
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“I would tell them that they can do it,” Simpson said. “They’re just as impactful in this position as a male in this position.”