RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - Four new law enforcement officers at Long Island MacArthur Airport are the first women to join the force in about 15 years.
Officers Raisa Calderon, Samantha Carman, Alexandra Scribner, and Jasmine Ramos have a lot in common: they're women in their 20s who share a passion for law enforcement. They were hired in February to patrol MacArthur Airport, which is owned and operated by the Town of Islip.
"I know there's a lot of officers out there who are female but primarily in the airport there's only two at the moment so us coming in together was definitely a proud moment," Calderon said.
The move ultimately changed the culture of what once was a male-dominated department.
"Between aided cases, people losing their luggage, or just directions, I want to be able to help people and make people feel more comfortable," Carman said.
Angie Carpenter, the first woman to serve as town supervisor, welcomes the change.
"We've had vacancies in the department due to retirements and everything," Carpenter said. "These four were the best qualified within the parameters of the civil service process."
Women now make up 28 percent of the department. That is more than double the male-to-female ratio in both the Nassau County and Suffolk County police departments.
In just a few weeks, the women will become New York State-certified peace officers, which will allow them to carry and enforce state and local laws.