Wyoming Police Department hires its first female officer

DOVER — It’s a familiar pattern — crime concerns rise as communities expand — with a twist.

The Town of Wyoming added its first female police officer Wednesday morning to meet the increasing demand for protection and service.

Cali Echeverri, 25, was sworn in during a two-minute ceremony at Justice of the Peace Court 7.

Proud parents Jan and Jose Echeverri held the Bible for their daughter who repeated the oath from Judge James Murray. Brother Eric watched from the gallery and a few court staff members took in their first-ever ceremony.

“She’s wanted this for a long time and as seeing as hard as she’s worked I absolutely believe she’ll do it well,” Eric said.

Slightly choked up, Jan explained said “it’s hard to express” her feelings about her daughter’s ascension at the moment. The former U.S. Air Force security forces member set an example for Wyoming’s newest law enforcement office years ago.

“I remember during freshman year of high school my mom would come home after work and tell stories of helping people,” Patrol Officer Echeverri said. “That was my inspiration to start thinking about (a police career).

“I saw how she served her country and this is how I will serve my country.”
Jose pointed to his immigration from Colombia and U.S. Air Force service that preceded his daughter’s career as a point of pride for accepting newcomers and their value into the country.

Getting sworn in as an officer.

‘Growing town’
Police Chief Martin Willey described Wyoming as a “growing town” with somewhere between 1,500 to 1,600 residents. Theft and burglary complaints arise frequently and domestic incidents have risen noticeably in the past year, he said.

The ever-expanding Greens at Wyoming neighborhood includes 150 to 200 homes south of Del. 15 (Southern Boulevard), police said, and has space for potentially twice that. Another 14 new homes are tentatively scheduled in another development, and the Wynsome Knoll project near the Camden-Wyoming Little League park is nearly complete.

Wyoming PD is up to four officers now and seeking a fifth. Officer Echeverri was among 18 applicants for the now-filled position, and Chief Willey said just more than 40 have applied for the current opening.

“A focus of mine is to expand community policing in town and (Officer Echeverri) fit the profile I was looking for,” Chief Willey said.

“There are times where a female or child would rather talk to a female officer more than a male for various reasons. That option is now available.”

Following a 12-week field training officer program, Wyoming’s newest officer will patrol on her own. Police work 12-hour shifts.

Officer Echeverri lived in Camden until age 13 when her family relocated to Frederica. She graduated from St. Thomas More Academy in 2013, attended Goldey-Beacom College for a year and graduated with a criminal justice bachelor’s degree from Delaware State University in 2017.
Wyoming formed its own police department in 1999 after separating from Camden.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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