SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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May 18, 2013

Retiring Danvers police lieutenant was one of first women on the force

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After taking the civil service exam, she jumped to the top of the list in Danvers and was offered a job. While she may have broken barriers by being one of the first women officers on the force, she did so by simply doing her job.

“I think every woman who was on the job at that time was a barrier breaker,” Germano said. “Not just myself. I didn’t go into the position as a barrier breaker, I just went into the position because that was what I wanted to do.”

She had to overcome some resistance from other officers at first, but she did that by proving she could do the job, not complaining to higher-ups.

“I think women now are an essential part of policing,” Germano said. “They bring different traits to the table.”

One of the most high-profile cases she worked was that of serial child molester Christopher Reardon, accused of abusing 24 boys he met through church, Boy Scouts and the YMCA. Germano worked for the state police out of the Essex County District Attorney’s office on the case, and testified before the grand jury at Reardon’s dangerousness hearing. She and other officers worked 15-hour days for a few months on the case, and Reardon eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2001 to 30 to 40 years in prison.

Germano’s retirement follows that of several veteran officers in recent years, including Officer Brian Casparian in March.

“I absolutely love police work,” Germano said. While she has not closed the door to working in law enforcement in some capacity, someday, Germano, who likes art and design, has started her own business staging homes for sale or redesigning them.

“I felt it was important to leave my comfort zone,” Germano said of her retirement. “... I don’t think you can move on until you leave your comfort zone.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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