Woman Makes History with the NYPD as Their First Female Chief of Counterterrorism Bureau

Martine Materasso is breaking down barriers for women in the NYPD.

Materasso, 42, was recently named Chief of NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau — marking the very first time that a female officer has served in the role, according to WABC.

As chief, Materasso will be responsible for leading several NYPD units, including the Critical Response Command, the World Trade Center Command, and the NYPD Bomb Squad, and keeping the city safe against terrorism, the outlet reported.

She will also oversee approximately 1,000 officers, according to News 12 The Bronx.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I’d even be sitting in this seat,” Materasso told WABC after officially making history.

Materasso’s drive to become a leader started when she was young, after being born in the Bronx and raised by a father who served as an NYPD commanding officer, News 12 The Bronx reported.

“I can remember as a little girl coming into the precinct, coming to the Christmas parties, sitting at his desk, seeing him work with these officers, and I said from the beginning, ‘Wow this is something that I want to do,'” she recalled to the outlet.

When it came time for Materasso to go to college, the Long Island resident decided to head south and attend Miami’s Florida International University, where she played on their soccer team as a goalkeeper, News 12 The Bronx reported.

During those years, Materasso said she had an opportunity to develop her leadership skills.

“I think 100% it helped,” she told News 12 The Bronx of her time on the soccer team. “You’re a leader, so you’re on that team and the girls on that team, or whatever team I was part of, they look to you, they want to see that direction, and I [now] apply that here.”

After graduating, Materasso entered the NYPD, where she has worked for the last 20 years to protect the city, according to the outlet.

She previously made history when she was named the first commanding officer of the NYPD’s 41st precinct, WABC reported — and now, Materasso is continuing to pave the way for females in the NYPD.

“I was in complete shock and awe,” she recalled to News 12 The Bronx of learning about her promotion. “I probably turned green, white, pink. I didn’t know what to think actually.”

The mother of two told WABC she believes her experience working in the department for so long has played a crucial role in getting her to this point — and will only continue to benefit her as she leads her colleagues.

“Every single role that I’ve held, inside to outside — I think it all really shapes you as a leader,” Materasso told the outlet. “As long as you lead from the front — you get out there and show the guys and the girls that work for you that you’re going to be out there with them, then they will have no problem jumping on board and being right behind you.”

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“I don’t think I go into the position saying, ‘I’m a woman in the position,’ but I go in saying, ‘I’m a leader and I’m going to do the best job that I can with the men and women that are serving with me,'” she added to News 12 The Bronx.

Besides leaving an impact on her colleagues, Materasso said she hopes serving in the chief role will influence her two daughters.

“I think they are proud of the things that I’ve accomplished here,” she explained to WABC, adding that it was important for the girls to see their mother working in this prominent position.


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