Vincentians overseas continue to excel in their varying fields with police officer Mandisha Hamilton being no exception.
Migrating from St. Vincent to the Big Apple when she was only 13 years old, Hamilton grew up with two other siblings in Brooklyn where she still resides with her dog, Missy.
In high school, Officer Hamilton played a multitude of sports, including tennis, bowling, and even miniature golf, but her real passion was handball.
“A friend of mine told me about a job opportunity with the NYPD as a traffic agent. I didn’t know much about it, but decided to sign up. And they called me, and here I am today.”
At first, I was out there, on my feet, looking for illegally parked cars, but in five years, I became a tow-truck driver. It is a tough job that requires both mental and physical strength. I worked by the motto ‘Keep the traffic moving.’ But I really wanted to become a police officer, and I became one in 2013.
One day, a supervisor from the Ceremonial Unit asked if I would be interested in becoming a member of the Honor Guard. I, of course, accepted.
I have worked at many different events, but still have vivid memories of my first job as a member of the Honor Guard. It was Medal Day at One police Plaza.
Being a pallbearer is very emotional. It’s humbling. Going to funerals is always heartbreaking. But I feel it’s important for us to be there, and, many times, families of fallen officers will thank us. Sometimes, people say it’s good to see a female pallbearer. It is tremendously important to me.
When I walk parades, I feel proud – thousands of people are looking at us – we represent the entire Police Department.
Whenever I have the chance, I interact with public – whether it’s just a small talk, or a handshake, or even a smile – it can all make a difference.”