Fil-Am becomes highest-ranking Filipina cop in New Jersey


Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco with new police sergeant Laila Cristobal. AJPRESS PHOTO

NEW YORK CITY — When Laila Cristobal was sworn in as an officer of the Passaic, New Jersey Police Department 15 years ago, she became the first Filipino female cop in the State of New Jersey. On May 6, at a standing room only event at the Passaic City Hall, she made rank and became the first Filipina police sergeant in the state.

“I feel very blessed. I worked very hard to get this position, I studied hard for it. I’m pretty excited and I’m looking forward to the future,” Cristobal, who is going on her 16th year of service, told the Asian Journal after the event.


Cristobal, 44, comes from a family of law enforcement officers that includes her younger brother Laurence.

Cristobal graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1996 with bachelor’s degree in business, joining the police force on January 28, 2000. She was promoted to detective in the Major Crimes Unit in 2006, where she worked until 2009.


Since 2010, Cristobal has been assigned as a detective in the Juvenile Bureau where she developed her leadership skills.

“I’ve known her for many years and I’ve heard and seen the good things she has done in the police force in her years of service. As a sergeant now, she is a testament of the hard work she has given. She does her job and beyond what’s asked of her. She is a role model,” remarked Passaic City Mayor Alex Blanco.

Cristobal is married and has a daughter. She is now the highest-ranking Filipina in law enforcement in the state of New Jersey and a proud member of PBA, FOP and Asian American Law Enforcement.

“Being on the police force is not a job for everyone. I guess it’s in the blood.  It’s a very challenging job especially for females,” Cristobal said. “Hopefully I can encourage a lot of people to follow my footsteps. I’m really honored to be in this position.”

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TAGS: Asian American police officers, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Filipino American police officers, highest ranking Filipina police officer New Jersey, New Jersey Police Department, Passaic, Sgt. Laila Cristobal
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