Irma Lozada: First NYC Female Police Officer to Die in the Line of Duty
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Irma Lozada (April 26, 1959-September 21, 1984) a.k.a. "Fran," was a member of the New York City Transit Police Department who was slain in 1984, becoming the first female police officer to die in the line of duty in New York.
Lozada and her brother were born in New York City. Her parents had moved from Puerto Rico to Manhattan in New York City in the 1950s. There she received her primary and secondary education. As a child, Lozada spent her summers with her family in the City of Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
In 1980 Lozada applied for, and was accepted into, the New York Transit Police Academy. She graduated in the first academy class of transit officers that had a significant number of women and was assigned to District 33, located at 2399 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., as a plain clothes transit officer. At the time, the NYPD and the New York Transit Police were separate entities. The New York City Transit Police Department was a law enforcement agency that existed from 1953 (with the creation of the New York City Transit Authority) to 1995.
In the early 1980s, many male transit police officers still viewed women as undesirable partners. Despite this, Lozada's work was noticed by her superiors and she was promoted to the Citywide Task Force, a street crime unit. This was one step closer towards her goal of becoming a detective.
On September 21, 1984, Lozada, then a veteran of four years in the force, and her partner were assigned to patrol the "L" Line in plainclothes. The "L" a.k.a. "Canarsie Line" is sometimes referred to as the "14th Street-Canarsie Line". It is a rapid transit line of the BMT Division of the New York City Subway system, named after its terminus in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. During her patrol she witnessed a suspect, Darryl Jeter, snatch a piece of jewelry, a necklace, from an unsuspecting train rider.
Lozada and her partner split up while chasing the suspect. She chased him to a nearby warehouse yard and waited at the exit of the warehouse's parking lot. When confronted by the suspect she pretended to be looking for a lost dog with the intention that the suspect would not suspect her real motives. The suspect then turned around to look for the dog and Lozada pulled out her service gun. As Lozada attempted to handcuff the suspect, he turned and took her gun. The suspect then proceeded to shoot her twice in the face. Lozada's body was found three hours later in the parking lot. With her death she became the first female officer to be killed in the line of duty in New York City.
Darryl Jeter, the suspect, was later apprehended and charged with second degree murder, possession of a weapon, possession of stolen property and grand larceny. He was found guilty of second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon and is now in prison. Jeter was sentenced to serve thirty two and a half (32½) years to life in prison and is not eligible for parole until after he serves the 32½ years.
Lozada was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens County, New York. She is survived by her mother and brother. At the memorial ceremony at Calvary Cemetery in 2004, NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly stated: "It is difficult to tell how a single event changes pervasive attitudes. But this death was, you might say, the jolting realization of the equality of the risk."
On Tuesday, October 02, 2012, a bill was signed into law by New York City Mayor, the Honorable Michael Bloomberg, whose provisions include renaming a street in Brooklyn "P.O. Irma Lozada Way" in honor of Lozada.