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From 1989 to 2000, Cathy Johansen rose through the ranks at the Peekskill Police Department from patrol officer to Lieutenant. During that time, she was a DARE officer and an SRO officer working with the city school district in addition to working directly with detectives on special victims’ crimes, including child or elder abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assaults.
As she rose through the ranks, she became more involved with the community and in 2000, was responsible for creating a fulltime community policing unit. Her unit formed important and resourceful relationships with the school district, social services, the city, and youth bureau, as well as being a sounding board for different neighborhoods. During this time period, she created a two-week summer camp for local youth to give them the chance to work beside police officers and understand the realities of a career in law enforcement. This became a well respected and extremely popular program that received recognition from several departments in the area wanting to replicate its successful formula.
As a Lieutenant in 2009, Cathy was recruited by the new organization, New York Women in Law Enforcement, to serve on their board as a regional director. She became president of the organization in 2016 and has chaired three of their three-day training conferences. She, once again, stepped up as vice-president for 2022 and will chair her fourth training conference in 2023 as president.