In beginning her law enforcement career, Deborah blazed new trails which permeate still today. She competed for the first time with men in the "Police Officer" job title and was the only woman who successfully qualified on the physical agility testing. She was the first woman to work patrol in the St. Paul Police Department, and so began to blaze new trails throughout her career. Many new issues, such as uniform and assignment policies for women, were resolved then that paved the way for women officers today. As she advanced in her career to Senior Commander level, Deborah was keenly aware of the need to reach out and mentor girls and women. While commanding the Juvenile Unit, she served on the St. Croix Valley Girl Scout Board of Directors and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, which proposed programs for our at-risk youth. Deborah serves as the Board President of the YWCA of St. Paul. At every opportunity, she has encouraged character and confidence building in youth. Deborah was a delegate for Citizen Ambassadors, People to People cultural and training exchanges in China, Inner Mongolia, Russia, Australia, in addition to Africa and England. Deborah's awards and services on various boards are too numerous to detail here, but her significant contributions to the International Association of Women Police and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) should be highlighted. Deborah's trailblazing began in her childhood and his continued throughout her life. She was a Civil Rights leader as the President of the St. Paul NAACP Youth Group in the late 1950's, and worked for open housing. At age seventeen years, she was the youngest person ever elected to the National Board of Directors of the NAACP and served for six years. She participated with Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1963 March on Washington, DC for civil rights laws, and in 1965, she again marched fifty miles from Selma to Montgomery with Dr. King for Voters Rights. In 1964, she was a GAA All City Award recipient (recognizing her athletic interests and skills and the importance of physical fitness) and in 2004 she was inducted into the St. Paul Central H.S. Hall of Fame. Deborah was also the first African American female elected to the St.Paul, MN. City Council, were she focused on issues of economic development, housing, opportunities for youth and seniors. Deborah Montgomery has demonstrated courage, confidence, and leadership skills throughout her life, and our community is a better place because she has served in it.
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