South Orange Police Swear in First Female Sergeant

By SO Police Dept. and CPC Outreach

At the June 14th Board of Trustees meeting the Village of South Orange made it official: Sally Reaves is now the first woman to be appointed to the rank of Sergeant. At Police Headquarters Acting Police Chief Stephen Dolinac praised Sergeant Reaves’ work with several of her family members and fellow officers looking on. “As a front-line supervisor Sergeant Reaves takes on a position of enormous responsibility,” he said. Village President Sheena Collum then administered the oath after the Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution appointing her. Collum expressed her excitement and hope, saying that Reaves was a “testament to the type of officer we are proud to have in our department.”

Reaves, who has had an 18-year career as an officer, came to the South Orange department from the Orange Police Dept. in 2007. In an interview with OutreachCPC Sgt. Reaves told us that she began her career in 2003, having worked in the healthcare field for 13 years. The medical field took a strong emotional toll, but she wanted to pursue a career in helping others, so she chose to switch to law enforcement: “It was the best decision I could have made.” She notes that it has been an honor and a pleasure serving South Orange and “I could not have chosen a better town to work for.” She sees the Township growing in so many ways with new businesses opening up and new apartment buildings. She commented that she loves the family feel and family homes that make up a large part of the South Orange community and hope that we never lose that “home feeling.”

In answer to a question about youth and careers in law enforcement, Sgt. Reaves was very enthusiastic, saying that she “absolutely” encourages young people, especially women, to consider a law enforcement career. “We’ve had a really tough time the last few years, but I see things getting better after the murder conviction in the George Floyd case. A lot of people  became discouraged about starting a career in law enforcement because of all negative things that were happening. Now with all the changes in the laws, I see people applying for police officers jobs again. The key is trust, people need to know that they can trust the law and they will be treated fairly.”

We finished our interview with Sgt. Reaves noting that she loves her job and that she would not trade it for anything in the world. “I’m here for the people and I hope I can make a difference in the community.”

To watch the swearing in ceremony conducted at the Police headquarters in conjunction with the South Orange Board of Trustees meeting, please feel free to check out the video on YouTube.

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