Promotion makes Milagros Soto the first Hispanic chief in Suffolk PD history

Milagros Soto, who was elevated from inspector to chief, says it took “many years of diligent hard work” to reach her current rank.

News 12 Staff

Aug 2, 2021, 7:22 PM

Updated 996 days ago

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Monday the promotion of the first Hispanic police chief in the department’s history.
Milagros Soto, who was elevated from inspector to chief, says it took “many years of diligent hard work” to reach her current rank.
“Today's a very impactful day, not just for me, for other minorities in the community,” said Soto. “They say she started from very humble beginnings on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan and look where she is today."
Milagros Soto says she was inspired by her brother Pedro who became an NYPD officer in the 1970s when there were few minorities on the force. At the age of 25, she became a Suffolk County police officer when there were also few Hispanics.
In 2016, Soto worked in Brentwood during the height of the MS-13 gang violence.
Officer Christopher Racioppo, who nearly died after being stabbed in April, was also promoted to the rank of detective.
"I feel great,” said Racioppo. “I'm doing physical therapy three to four times a week. Just happy to get promoted to detective and come back to the department when I'm healthy.”
Racioppo was stabbed in the thigh after an attempted traffic stop in Patchogue. Police say the suspect was attempting to evade arrest for DWI after causing a crash.



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