Pinay cop rises in rank in New Jersey

PASSAIC, N.J. – She was sworn in as the first Filipino female police officer in the State of New Jersey in 2000.

Today, Laila Cristobal makes rank as the first Filipino deputy sergeant in the city of Passaic, NJ.

Cristobal said, “I worked very hard to get this position. I studied very well. I did a lot of hard work in the police department. I’ve been on the job 15 years going on 16.”

In a jam-packed ceremony at Passaic City Hall on Wednesday, Mayor Alex Blanco conferred Cristobal’s historic promotion to become the highest ranking Filipina in New Jersey law enforcement.

“This is a promotion that was based on years of service, a test that they take and also the dedication the officers provide,” Blanco said. “She does her job and beyond what’s asked of her. So she’s a role model for the Filipino community.”

The Mayor says, diversity in the police department not only provides equal opportunity for all, but also helps in preventing policing issues with the community, such as the one’s recently seen in Baltimore, Ferguson and New York.

“Our police officers and fire departments, they are diverse as well. So they understand the community, and that kinda avoids conflicts between the police department and the community. So today is a great testament — we promoted a Filipina sergeant and a Latino sergeant,” the Mayor said.

Cristobal said, “As long as we are fair, follow by the rules, just treat everybody like you would want to be treated. You can’t treat one person different. You have to treat people the way you wanted to be treated.”

The Fairleigh Dickinson University business graduate was promoted as a detective to the major crimes unit in 2003.

Since 2010, Cristobal has been assigned as a detective in the Juvenile Bureau where she honed her leadership skills for the new position.

The 44-year-old Caloocan City native is part of a family of law enforcement officers that includes her father and younger brother Detective Lawrence Cristobal.

Lawrence said, “Since we were young we wanted to become police officers, looking up to my father and also my grandfather who were also police officers in the Philippines. So basically it runs in the family.”

Cristobal also inspires young Fil-Ams to break more glass ceilings and commit their lives to public service.

Nick Soriano, law student and Crisobal’s cousin said, “She wakes up every morning, faces dangers — it inspires me to do something similar. Whether I’m in law enforcement when my time comes, I just know that I expect myself to make a fraction of the impact that she has on the city.”

“It’s a rewarding feeling. It’s not a job for everyone. It’s a dangerous job.” she said.

But there’s nothing like knowing that she’s making a difference in her community, she said.

You may contact Don Tagala at

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    7 May 2015 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    All Cops have same training same attitude , Choke hold kill , shoot unarmed suspect trying flee , never admit any wrongdoing .
    Was she starting her own business already ? … Smuggling high power weapons in the Phil .
    Invite me to your trial pls.

  • noz
    8 May 2015 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    anybody who do not follow police instructions or for that matter the law enforcements will get appropriate response, to control an out of control probable cause situations. policing have been demonized by the bigot liberturds, together with the far out lefty, lame stream medias, who want the second amendment dissolved. they believed the second amendment gun proliferations are the roots of violent crimes. blue states like NY, illinois, CA, etc have gun control, yet the crimes is the highest per capita. the red states with the right to bear arms as written on the second amendment have lower crime rates per capita.

    people in general think they all are experts on policing as if its a piece of cake. most informations how police must functions are retorts from politicians picture framing themselves as police haters, along with their self interest agendas. this is to woo their counterpart police hater voters of their districts, towns, etc for their guaranteed reelections. to undergo police training is tough. the pattern of training are similar in the states of the union with degree of variations, the same way the states rules, and laws may vary from states to states. case in point – there could be 160plus candidate as police officers in the police academy, but come graduation only 60 plus made it for graduation. either, police officer candidates voluntarily quit, they cannot handle tough requirements, or either were let go for the reason the candidates don’t have what it takes to be police officers.