First female NYC cop killed in the line of duty
When Irma “Fran” Lozada joined the New York City Transit Police in 1981, women in policing were still not widely accepted. In 1973 the NYPD abolished the Policewoman rank and made incoming female officers the same rank as their male counterparts. The Transit Police were a little slower. The first women police officers were appointed from a 1979 list.
Fran Lozada entered this environment as a groundbreaker. Her academy class was the first to have a significant number female officers. Fran worked hard and graduated the academy. Assigned to District 33 in Brooklyn, she excelled at her new job. Supervisors soon moved her into the District’s Anti-Crime plainclothes detail.
Fran Lozada was patrolling the L train on September 21, 1984, when she spotted a suspicious man eyeing up his fellow straphangers. When the train reached the Wilson Avenue stop, the perp made his move, snatching a gold chain and running “topside” into the street. Fran and her partner gave chase but were split up.
The pursuit led to an empty lot in the wastelands of early 80’s Bushwick. Unbeknownst to her partner (transit radios were notoriously balky for decades) Fran began looking for the perp in the overgrown lot. At some point the perp assaulted Officer Lozada, and a struggle for her duty revolver ensued. A shot rang, out injuring Fran in the face. The perp started to flee, but wanting to leave no witnesses, he returned and shot the downed officer in the head, killing her.
A massive investigation and manhunt was initiated. Darry Jeter was identified by detectives and captured. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Jeter released by New York State’s Parole board in December of 2021.
Irma “Fran” Lozada was the first female police officer killed in New York City. She was a pioneer and groundbreaker. She did her job with pride and bravery until the end.
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