New Acting Police Director For Trenton

Police Director Sheilah Coley speaking after being appointed. Trenton Mayor Reed stands to her right. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora has officially named Sheila Coley to lead the Capital City Police Department as Acting Director. Gusciora made the announcement at City Hall Monday Morning in front of supporters and the press.

“I am proud to be here and working in the city of Trenton,” Coley said. “I’m proudly wearing my Trenton pin already because when I commit I am fully committed. I am coming in with an open mind and hands that are ready to work.”

An independent search committee poured through roughly 40 resumes before settling on their pick. Coley has experience directing the East Orange and Newark Police. She would be the first black female to lead the force if appointed. 

“I think the warmth and personality Sheila has really came out during the interview process,” Gusciora said. “I think the selection committee was unanimous in selecting her. In just my personal interactions with her, you really have someone who is down to earth and wants to make a difference. I was really struck by that.”

Her closely watched nomination comes less than half a year after the City Council battered down Carol Russell’s appointment last December. When asked if she had qualities to unify the council and mayor behind her, Coley focused on her background.

“I’m not looking to come in to cause any division,” Coley explained. “I think what I’m bringing with education and training will in itself bring the police department together.”

Coley says she is ready to get down to business but wants people to understand she’s only human.

“I know there are a lot of things people want to see right away, and I have many tools I intend to use to turn the police department around” Coley started. “But what I don’t have is a magic wand, so I’m going to ask all of you to be patient.”

The entire Trenton City Council joined the Mayor and Coley for the announcement. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri also stood by in support.