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Indian-origin cop is NYPD's highest-ranking South Asian woman

Maldonado is currently in charge of the 102nd Police Precinct in South Richmond Hill, Queens.

Pratima Bhullar Maldonado with Sikh officers (Image: Twitter/@HardeepSPuri)

Pratima Bhullar Maldonado, an Indian-origin police officer from Punjab, who was recently promoted to Captain is the highest-ranking South Asian woman in the New York Police Department (NYPD), according to a report by CBS News.

"It feels like coming home. I spent more than 25 years of my life in this precinct when I was growing up," Maldonado, who is currently in charge of the 102nd Police Precinct in South Richmond Hill, Queens told CBS News in an interview.

Describing it as a big responsibility, Maldonado said she desires to serve better not only for her community but also for other females and kids. According to the media, South Richmond Hill is the home of the largest Sikh community in the country. "Going to the same temple that I did as a child, and now as a captain, I love it," the Punjabi immigrant said as she visited the temple.

Fellow Punjabi and India's Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs & Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter appreciating Maldonado.  

The mother of four, Maldonado who moved from her birthplace, Punjab to Queens, New York, at the age of 9 believes that her new role will help with community policing. "There are language barriers, people who can't speak the language, English is a second language. I've seen that first hand growing up here," she said. CBS News mentioned that the NYPD has 10.5 per cent Asians out of 33,787 members in the department.

Speaking of the significance of her promotion, the 38-year-old added, “It's good to show other up-and-coming Asian, South Asian females that if you work hard enough you too can climb the ladder of success."