On July 11th, Julia Manning was unanimously approved and ceremoniously sworn in as the borough’s first female police officer, marking a significant stride for diversity and inclusion in the local law enforcement.
This landmark moment unfolded during a recent Council meeting of Park Ridge Borough, with Manning’s appointment being met with widespread commendations. The Mayor, in a passionate address, highlighted the profound impact of her appointment, “What I think is even more wonderful is you’re going to represent women on our Police Department for the first time in the history of Park Ridge…you’re going to be a shining example and…you’re more than qualified and you’re going to be an excellent police officer.”
Echoing the sentiment of inclusive representation and the importance of community policing, the Mayor underlined the familial character of the force, stating, “This is just great because this is what small-town police departments should be – hiring from within.”
The Park Ridge Police Chief also praised Manning for her exceptional dedication and passion for law enforcement. Reminiscing her early involvement with the force, he recounted, “Julia’s [essay] was one of the best… Her essay was so good that she eventually represented Park Ridge on a State national and international level with the Dare program.”
Along with Manning’s oath-taking ceremony, the council meeting also addressed a series of key civic matters. Several bond ordinances were introduced, authorizing funds for various public improvements and utility needs, including the acquisition of a new fire engine and a major $5,050,000 fund for public improvements. These ordinances were unanimously passed and public hearings were set for August 8, 2023.
Beyond the walls of the meeting, the wider community was engaged in an array of vibrant summer events such as Carnival Day, movie nights at the Park Ridge Pool, and a summer concert series. The spirit of the community remained high, with the younger generation enthusiastically volunteering at local events and participating in community services.
Despite the numerous developments and initiatives discussed, it was Officer Manning’s groundbreaking appointment that etched this meeting into the annals of Park Ridge history. The unanimous pride and support for her indicate a positive shift towards gender diversity and an inclusive future for the borough’s police department, fostering a new era of representation and empowerment.