Guilford police department makes history with first female lieutenant

GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — This month, Martina Jakober achieved a historic milestone as the first woman promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Guilford Police Department’s more than 100-year history.

The department, established in 1901 and officially designated as a police department in 1947, welcomed its first female officer in the 1970s.

“It was very emotional, almost numbness at first, and then extreme excitement. It was a little surreal even though I knew I had worked for it and earned it,” said Jakober.

The 47-year-old Connecticut native has spent 25 years working in law enforcement and joined Guilford’s police department in 2003, after first working as an officer in Tucson, Arizona.

She has steadily risen through the ranks, previously holding roles as a detective, community policing coordinator, and sergeant.

“We have a decent population of women in our law enforcement here in Guilford – so they were all really, really excited for me when I got promoted to kind of finally get someone in leadership that they felt they could connect to,” said Jakober.

She is one of six women in the department, working alongside 30 men. This is a new lieutenant position created to address increasing needs within the agency.

“I can’t wait to continue to keep growing in this position and then hopefully move up the chain from there. It’s interesting for young girls to see an adult woman in this role to be like – I can do that too,” said Jakober.

Lieutenant Jakober says the position has reignited her passion for law enforcement and helping the community. She considers this a new beginning.

“There’s a big problem in law enforcement with recruitment and retention. I hope that being in this role we can attract more women into the policing field,” said Jakober.

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