MAKING HISTORY. Several Curry College alumni are making history as successful women in the criminal justice field.

Over the past year, four standout female law enforcement officials have made history within their communities. From the first full-time female police officer to the highest-ranking female in the department, these Curry College alumni are breaking glass ceilings and setting the bar high for women in the criminal justice field.

Christine Elow '03 was recently appointed as Acting Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department after over 25 years of service. After four years in the U.S. Navy, she joined Cambridge PD in 1995 in the Patrol Division. In 2017, she was sworn in as Superintendent, which made her the highest-ranking female officer in department history.

"It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead a police department in the City I grew up in and love dearly. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve in this role and plan on doing everything I can to help the Department advance its mission and serve as the model for policing in Massachusetts and the country.”

This summer, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) alumna Melissa Greener ’07 was sworn in as the Randolph Police Department's first female commander in department history. Melissa was also the first female sergeant and the first female lieutenant within the department, working her way up the ranks since her start in 2005.

"Being the first female commander is special. It's a great honor and responsibility that I take very seriously in not only being a great role model to female officers but to all officers."

Carolyn Lynch '18 recently became the first full-time woman police officer for the town of Rowley As a young alumna, Carolyn joined the Rowley Police Department in July of 2019 as a reserve officer, shortly after graduating from a reserve police academy. She is also a reservist with the U.S. Marine Corps and volunteers as a liaison officer with the Rowley Council on Aging. Fulfilling her lifelong dream, Carolyn was sworn in on August 23 and worked her first shift the very next day.

Last summer, MACJ alumna Brenda Perez ’04 made history in the Brockton Police Department as its first female police lieutenant. Born and raised in Brockton, Perez worked as a patrol officer for roughly 16 years until she was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2016, as only the second female sergeant in the history of the department. Before joining the Police Department, Perez was in the U.S. Army Reserves, serving 24 years in the military, reaching the rank of master sergeant.

“I recognize the significance of the moment, not only the moment as a woman but as a first-generation minority.”

The criminal justice program at Curry provides the opportunity to systematically examine criminal justice systems and the administration of justice, analyzing the causes and patterns of crime and criminal behavior and the ways in which institutional responses address these social problems. The curriculum emphasizes social justice and the promotion of human rights throughout the globe. Criminal Justice courses highlight practical problem solving using research, theory, and analytic skills relevant to careers in criminal justice, legal studies, community, and social service.