Suffolk PD commissioner nominee on verge of history

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If confirmed, Geraldine Hart would become the first female police commissioner of Suffolk County.

Hart, a Northport native, sat down for a one-on-one interview Friday with News 12 Long Island and looked back on her career in law enforcement. She joined the FBI in 1996 as one of four women in her graduating class of 50.

“There weren't too many of us, so there wasn't really a distinction made. We were all treated the same,” said Hart.

MORE: Bellone nominates Geraldine Hart as next Suffolk police commissioner
SERIES: Women's History Month 2018

During her time with the FBI, she served on white collar crime and organized crime task forces. In 2014, she became the head of the FBI's Long Island Gang Task Force.

“I've always been in a task force setting…and knowing how this is going to get done, you have to leverage all your resources,” she told News 12.

County Executive Steve Bellone named Hart his pick for police commissioner last month to replace Tim Sini, who was elected district attorney. She said she didn't think much at first about possibly being the first female Suffolk police commissioner.

“When this became public, I was actually taken aback by the notoriety of being the first female [police commissioner]. Since then, I've had time to reflect, and really do understand that this a milestone,” she said.

Hart is the mother of a 16-year-old daughter. News 12’s Eileen Lehpamer asked her what message she might have for other young women who would like to follow in her footsteps.

“If it is something you feel strongly about, and you are passionate about it, you care about people, and you want to help people, stick with it,” she said. “There's going to be times where things are going to get in your way. You'll get knocked down, but you have to get up again.”

Hart said her focus will be on eradicating gangs and the current opioid crisis, if confirmed. Those hearings begin before the Suffolk Legislature in April.

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