Pratima Bhullar Maldonado, of Indian origin, makes history as the highest ranking South Asian police officer in New York

Captain Pratima Bhullar Maldonado, an exceptional police officer of Indian origin, has broken down barriers by achieving the highest rank for a South Asian woman in the New York Police Department.

Recently promoted to captain, Maldonado now runs the 102nd Police Precinct in South Richmond Hill, Queens.

Hailing from Punjab and having migrated to Queens at age 9, this devoted mother of four inspires many others with her remarkable journey.

“It feels like coming home. I spent over 25 years in this compound growing up.” Maldonado said.

South Richmond Hill is home to one of the largest Sikh communities in the country.

“Going to the same gurdwara I did as a kid, and now as a captain, I love it.” Maldonado said while visiting the gurdwara.

As Captain Pratima Bhullar Maldonado assumes her groundbreaking position at the New York Police Department, she shared with CBS 2 her excitement about her new role and how it will have a positive impact on community policing efforts.

“There are language barriers, people who can’t speak the language, English is a second language. I’ve seen it firsthand growing up here.” she said.

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Maldonado is the highest-ranking South Asian woman in the NYPD, a position to which she was promoted last month. But it wasn’t easy to climb the ranks, according to the report.

“Go out and work, and protect people who sometimes curse you and don’t appreciate what you’re doing, but you still have to do what you have to do.” Maldonado said.

“It’s a big responsibility. I want to be a better, more positive example for my community and other women and children who see us every day. Because that would change their perspective of law enforcement.” she added.

According to the NYPD, of the department’s 33,787 members, 10.5 percent are Asian.

“I feel extremely proud. It’s good to show other up-and-coming Asian and South Asian women that if they work hard enough, they too can climb the ladder of success.” Maldonado said.

As New York City celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Maldonado reflects on his late father.

“In fact, my father drove a taxi for many years. He supported us. He was a hard worker. He passed away in 2006 before I became a policeman. He would have been very proud at this point.” she said.


With her remarkable achievements and determination, Pratima Bhullar Maldonado breaks through stereotypes and barriers by becoming the top South Asian Police Officer in New York.

His pioneering journey inspires, challenges traditional norms, and paves the way for more diverse representation in the police force.

(With PTI inputs)

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