The history, the people and the work that makes NYWLE an organization that matters.

NYWLE was developed by a core group of 14 women representative of the many different areas of law enforcement within New York State who served as our founding Board of Directors. These women all shared a vision to strengthen the Law Enforcement Community through the celebration of diversity, the promotion of education and the development of leaders.

To date, our organization has expanded to almost 400 members, led by our Board of Directors comprised of 21 women from across the state.

Each year, NYWLE hosts an annual training conference which affords women and men in law enforcement the opportunity to enhance their professional and personal lives through a range of relevant training topics. The election of new Board Officers takes place at each conference.

We are looking for both women and men who would like to work together to strengthen public recognition of the unique contributions of women to the profession of law enforcement.


  • NYPD - Retired

    Diana Pizzuti served in the New York City Police Department for 36 years, 26 at the executive level, before her retirement in 2018 as …

  • Peekskill Police Department (ret.)

    From 1989 to 2000, Cathy Johansen rose through the ranks at the Peekskill Police Department from patrol officer to Lieutenant. During that time, she …

    Vice President
  • MTA Police Department

    Nzingha Kellman is a Captain with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Department. Captain Kellman is a true trailblazer and the 1st African American …

    Immediate Past President
  • NYS Police

    Kimberly Shappy is currently a Zone Sergeant with the New York State Police, assigned to Headquarters – Administration in Albany, NY.  Zone Sergeant Shappy …

    Recording Secretary
  • NYPD

    Jennifer Sterling is currently a Police Officer with the New York City Police Department for the past 17 years and began her career on …

    Membership Secretary
  • New York State Police

    Nicole Weston is currently an Investigator with the New York State Police, assigned to the Special Victims Unit and Forensic Investigative Support Services Unit …



Diana Pizzuti – New York City Police Department

Thank you for allowing me to serve as the next President for New York Women in Law Enforcement (NYWLE). My presidency is an indication that I am committed to making a difference, not only for our organization but all people aligned with our values and goals throughout the State of NY and beyond. I am humbly priviliged and honored to work closely with my trusted Board of Directors to lead this outstanding organization into the new normal.

As we embark into this new normal, I assure you that I will put in my best efforts and dedication to work for the growth of this prestigious organization by aligning with NYWLE goals while being mindful of the organization’s history and tremendous progress.

NYWLE will provide the necessary support to advance our committees agendas in areas of community service, conference, training, and leadership while addressing the challenges of Law Enforcement.

Law Enforcement professionals challenged by the civil unrest, calls for reform, defunding the police to the deadly Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) requires solidarity and understanding for our organization’s optimal leadership and success.

NYWLE will continue to provide you with practical resources and tools to continually address these challenges and encourage unity and commonality to do good work while advancing the profession.

I look forward to being part of this fantastic team of law enforcement professionals, and I am excited about guiding the efforts of such a wonderful organization that has a significant impact on society. Thank you for your dedicated service as law enforcement professionals and your diligence and leadership on behalf of NYWLE.


Leigh Bishop
Queens County District Attorney’s Office – formerly

Deborah Campbell
New York State Police – retired

Gina Cocchiara
Bethlehem Police Deaprtment

Susan Deshensky
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police – retired

Anne Fitzsimmons
White Plains Police Department – retired

Joanne Jaffe
New York City Police Department – retired

Neely Jennings
New York State Police – retired

Barbara Lark
Buffalo Police Department

Casey Quinlan
NYS Office of the Attorney General

Margaret Ryan
Dryden Police Department – retired

Arlene Sabo
SUNY Police – retired
Vassar College Security

Rebecca Thompson
Syracuse Police Department – retired

Melanie Carden
Legal Advisor

Darcy Wells
Public Relations / Communications Advisor


We would not be able to reach our fundraising goals each year if we did not have the support of our sponsors, please support those that support us! Click on logos to visit our sponsors websites. Thank You!


The purpose of the NYWLE Community Service Committee is to explore and organize NYWLE participation in community service projects throughout New York State. As a committee, we will commit to projects which promote a positive relationship between criminal justice and the communities we serve. We will be seeking both long and short term projects for member participation throughout New York State that make use of the special qualities and skills of the members of NYWLE. Whether it is Statewide or regional, focusing our resources, our strength and our sense of responsibility can make a difference. Ideas for projects and service opportunities are welcome.

Send your thoughts and ideas or desire to be on the committee to Diana Pizzuti via nywomeninlawenforcement@gmail.com.

The NYWLE Conference Committee organizes and plans the annual conference for NYWLE. Committee members select the location for the conference and create a comprehensive program of topics and speakers for this two day conference for all members of the organization. The Committee organizes and hosts the welcome reception, the conference banquet and various sponsored events.

If you are interested in participating on the 2020 Conference Committee which will be hosted by the Western Region please reach out to Barbara Lark at nywomeninlawenforcement@gmail.com.

The NYWLE Membership Committee supports the recruitment, retention & promotion of NYWLE. Their goal is to establish a network of professional people to be used as a resource for developing skills, professionalism and effective leadership. Committee members are Regional Directors who work with regional representatives to enhance communication within NYWLE.

The Membership Committee Chair is Joanne Jaffe.

Current Regional Directors are:

Capital Region: Kimberly Shappy and Casey Quinlan
Central Region: Rebecca Thompson
Southern Region: Catherine Johansen
Western Region: Barbara Lark

To contact the Chair or Regional Directors, please use the member directory or email nywomeninlawenforcement@gmail.com.

The goal of the Training/Leadership committee is to promote the personal and professional development of members at all stages of their careers through the sharing of training/educational opportunities, presentation of programs at the annual conference and other venues, and outreach to students in criminal justice-related programs. The committee will also serve as a clearinghouse to field inquiries and make referrals regarding training and leadership issues. We welcome postings regarding training opportunities open to outside agencies, conference info for other organizations of potential interest to our members, and ideas for future NYWLE conference training topics.

Send your thoughts and ideas or your desire to be on the committee to Kimberly Shappy via the member directory.

The Website and Technology Committee has the responsibility of setting the strategic direction of the website and ensuring that the web presence supports the goals of NYWLE and serves its members. The committee is in need of members that can participate in meetings and assist in making decisions regarding website content and capabilities. The future goals of the committee are: conduct surveys to assure the website meets the needs of members, create content to publish on the site, participate in usability testing, assist in managing publishing and timeliness of published materials, and providing input to budgetary needs of the website.

If you are interested in participating on this committee please contact nywomeninlawenforcement@gmail.com.

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