SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Valerie Aguirre was officially sworn in as the newest Scotch Plains police officer at an outdoor ceremony (to accommodate social distancing requirements) on the steps of the Municipal Building prior to the regularly scheduled Scotch Plains Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

Aguirre was born in Edison and grew up in Woodbridge. A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin, she continued her education at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. At age 20, she joined Fords Volunteer Fire Company #1 and attended the Middlesex County Fire Academy where she successfully completed training certifications in Firefighter levels 1 and 2.

Aguirre was hired by the Board of Fire Commissioners Station 7 Dispatch center in Woodbridge as a Fire Emergency Dispatcher before taking the New Jersey Law Enforcement Civil Service Exam at age 22 and scored a 99.5. She was hired by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office and completed her police training at the Mercer County Police Academy. She transferred to the Scotch Plains Police Department, where she will "dedicate myself to protecting the community of Scotch Plains while honing in on the emphasis of community policing."

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"I aspire to work with LEAD where I want to help bring awareness to youth on the dangers of drugs and crime," she said. "I will work to further my training and education in all aspects of policing, emergency response and (with time and service) eventually management during my career with the Scotch Plains police department."

The Scotch Plains police department has four female officers.

"When we first met her, she's been outstanding. We have been pursuing her for months She is someone who is persistent and level headed," said Scotch Plains police chief Ted Conley. "She is always so positive. She wants to be here."

"Officer Aguirre is a very valuable addition to our Police Department," said Scotch Plains township manager Al Mirabella. "She is joining an excellent, state-accredited organization that protects and serves the residents of Scotch Plains very well. Adding a quality, bilingual female officer is helpful to our community."

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