DANVERS — In Carole Germano’s 28 years as a Danvers police officer, one day stands out: Sept. 11, 2001.
“When the planes hit the towers, I got called in to do all the composites at Logan Airport,” said Germano, who retired recently as a police lieutenant.
A few months before the attack, Germano had attended an FBI Academy training program on forensic facial imaging. At the time, there were only a couple of people who had gone through this course in the state, Germano said, so the FBI called her to the airport.
She made composite drawings from accounts of airport and hotel employees who had seen the terrorists who hijacked planes flying out of Boston. The drawings helped determine who the terrorists were, where they were located at the airport and what planes they flew on.
Many people watched the planes hitting the towers over and over on TV, horrified and unable to do anything to help.
“I didn’t have to do that,” Germano said. “I was actually able to help, and that made me feel better.” Her drawings helped ID the terrorists.
When she joined the Danvers Police Department as a reserve officer in 1985, Germano, now 55, was only the second woman to be hired. She became a full-time officer in 1987, a detective in 1999, a sergeant in 2006 and a lieutenant in 2007, working as a shift commander until her last day May 7.
“Law enforcement was something I looked at ever since I was a little kid,” Germano said. “I think it was my calling, you know. I remember when I was in sixth grade I was captain of the crossing guards ... I just always wanted to be a police officer.”
Now a Beverly resident, Germano grew up in Lynn; her family moved to Danvers just before she enlisted in the Army in 1978. She served four years of active duty as a medic, and another six in the Army Reserve.