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Kadra Mohamed joined the department as part of its community liaison program. Kenyan-born Mohamed graduated from Central High School in 2010.
She will graduate from St. Cloud State with a criminal justice degree in May, but she got her badge Saturday and spoke some words of wisdom to future recruits.
“The reason I’m even here today is because, you know, I had an idea set in my head, and I worked really hard to try to get to this dream of mine,” Mohamed said. “I want to tell you guys to continue on doing a good job.”
No other department in the state of Minnesota has hired a Somali woman to work on their force.
St. Paul is also one of only a few across the nation to now allow hijabs to be worn on the job.
Police Chief Tom Smith says the department hopes that Mohamed will be a role model for other Somali women that may want to become police officers.