‘Rockstar’ – The steady rise of Millie Soto to assistant chief of Suffolk police

Soto became a police officer in 1988 and earned promotions to sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Eventually, she made it to assistant chief and commanding officer of Internal Affairs.

News 12 Staff

Mar 30, 2023, 1:28 PM

Updated 453 days ago

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Being the highest-ranking female member of the Suffolk County Police Department is something Millie Soto never thought would happen in her wildest dreams.
She grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1960s and '70s – one of 11 children of Puerto Rican parents. She says it was her older brother, Pedro, who inspired her to become a police officer. He joined the force in 1973.
“I saw the positive impact he had in our neighborhood where we grew up,” said Soto.
He was killed in a car accident one year later. Against her mother's wishes, Soto decided to follow in her brother's footsteps. She joined the Suffolk County Police Academy at a time when there weren't many women in the ranks.
“The police academy is not a walk in the park, but when you're determined to do something and you have that calling…then it makes all the difference in the world,” she told News 12.
Soto became a police officer in 1988 and earned promotions to sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Eventually, she made it to assistant chief and commanding officer of Internal Affairs.
Commissioner Rodney Harrison says Soto worked hard and earned her position.
“I hope that people take a look at Millie Soto and try to aspire to be like her, because to me, she's a rockstar within this organization. I'm not sure where I would be without her,” said the commissioner.
July will mark 35 years Soto has been with the Suffolk County Police Department, and she says she has more she wants to accomplish. She hopes to inspire young women to pursue a career in law enforcement.
The last date to file for the Suffolk County police test is April 19.



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