Maplewood, NJ — Resolutions passed by the Maplewood Township Committee are not usually met with applause. But when Resolution Number 254-19 unanimously passed, appointing Lieutenant Niheema Nigia Malloy to Captain of the Maplewood Police Department, cheers rang through the large crowd assembled in Town Hall.  

Malloy is the first woman of color, and only the second woman, attain the rank of MPD Captain. And the town council couldn’t be more pleased. Committee member Dean Dafis spoke to her directly, saying he was glad he has gotten to know her personally and professionally. Maplewood is “appreciative of your energy, your professionalism, and your leadership qualities,” he said.

Mayor Victor DeLuca noted that while the MPD used to be mostly white and male, currently the department has two women who are captains, and two of the four top leaders in the department are African American, and one of those four is a member of the LGBT community. “We have a very diverse leadership team now, and you’ve all earned it. It shows that if you commit yourself institutionally and personally to a goal” it is achievable, he said.

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Malloy thanked God, the township committee, and then Chief Jimmy DeVaul. “Thank you for recognizing my professional potential,” she said, pointing to DeVaul in the crowd. She also thanked her coworkers for being “trailblazers” and mentoring her.

“I especially would like to thank my husband,” she said, which got another round of applause. “Everybody who knows me knows that without him none of this would be possible. He’s super supportive... I am honored to serve the Maplewood community, and I will enjoy serving in my new capacity. One of my favorite sayings is, if you want to go fast, go by yourself, but if you want to go far, go together.”

Malloy has been with the Maplewood Police Department since May 2006, after three and a half years as an officer with the Irvington Police Department.

Police Chief Jimmy DeVaul was unequivocal in his praise. Talking exclusively to TAPinto SOMA, he said, “She is the future of the department. She has the energy, the motivation, the drive, the charisma, and of course the education. She has Maplewood at heart.”