NYPD swears in department's 1st Black female surgeon
History was witnessed Monday at 1 Police Plaza. Dr. Lynn O’Connor was sworn in as the first Black female NYPD surgeon in 178 years. But history making is not that far of a stretch for O’Connor. She comes from a long line of politicians and public servants, including her cousin, Assembly Member Inez Dickens of Harlem.
“She is standing on the shoulders of a family that has given for nearly 90 years to this great city,” Dickens told News 12. “Lynne is combining medical service and public service, which this great family has not done before.”
NYPD surgeons give officers the green light to go back to work after an injury. O'Connor’s mission in her new role is also to increase colorectal cancer awareness for the men and women of the NYPD.
“No matter whether they’re Black, they’re white, there’s one common thread that I see, and it’s that they give so much of themselves, that they take very little time to take care of themselves, so it’s rewarding to give back,” O’Connor said at her swearing in ceremony.
O’Connor has an impressive resume. She received her master’s in public health at Yale and studied medicine at Temple University. She also had a fellowship in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins. She ultimately decided becoming a surgeon was her calling.
“She had me in the middle of her wanting to switch her career toward her passion and then to see her go through her entire career just working as a doctor, opening her own practice, and now being the first African American surgeon has just been so insane to see and so insane to be a part of,” her daughter, Danielle Harris, told News 12.
“It means so much for me, so much for Black women, so much for Black people, so much for just the entirety of the community that we serve,” she added.
O’Connor’s first official day was Monday, and she’ll start seeing police officers in the coming weeks.