LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — A well-known Sheriff’s Captain is paving the way for women in Niagara County.
Among her long list of achievements, she’s gained the respect of her peers in a male dominated industry.
Captain is a title Jill Herrington never thought she’d have.
And today, Captain Herrington holds the highest rank one can hold at the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.
“It took me a little while to figure out that this was the career path I wanted to take. I didn’t know it would work out so well for me but it has definitely worked out good,” said Captain Herrington.
Captain Herrington has worn a lot of hats during her time at the Sheriff’s office.
She’s the current hostage and crisis negotiator team leader, she’s been a DARE officer, she’s trained at the FBI academy and she’s been a police academy instructor.
“I would go out to the range and shoot with them. I’d be in my dress clothes and heels and show that ‘Oh I can shoot!’ I’ll go out and do the same job as them and I may not be as big or as strong but when there’s a pile, I’m right in there on that pile,” said Captain Herrington.
She started as an officer with the Lockport Police Department and got her feet wet going undercover during a prostitution sting.
“I definitely had to prove myself at Lockport and you know after I had my first foot chase and caught the person and after I was involved in fights and they knew I was going to be a good backup for them.. I never had another problem again,” said Captain Herrington.
However, in the beginning, she was quiet and tried to blend in.
“Then I realized I don’t want to blend in. I’m different than them. I have something to offer and so I speak my mind and I think that my bosses appreciate it,” said Captain Herrington.
Her current supervisor, Chief Deputy Michael Dunn, has worked with Captain Herrington for more than 19 years.
He remembers when they first met.
“I knew that she was a go-getter. I knew she had some intelligence to her. I knew she was here for the right reasons,” said Chief Deputy, Michael Dunn.
In a male dominated industry, Dunn says Herrington is paving the way and living an example others look up to.
She’s become a mentor for other women in law enforcement.
“A lot of them want to model their careers after hers,” said Chief Deputy Dunn.
“It feels good to know that people look at me in that way,” said Captain Herrington.
Captain Herrington says women bring something different to law enforcement than men.
She’s leaving a legacy that not just women will try to mimic.
“She leads the youngest shift that we have here in the department, the afternoon shift. And she’s molded them into the officers that we expect them to be,” said Chief Deputy Dunn.
Captain Herrington has a simple message to others.
“I always want the women to do the right thing. Be a good police officer and continue to have a good name for women in law enforcement so that the guys want us around,” said Captain Herrington.
Captain Herrington celebrates 20 years in law enforcement March 6th.