In Somali culture, women don’t strive to become police officers, Kadra Mohamed said.
On Saturday morning, Mohamed was recognized as the first Somali-American woman to join the St. Paul Police Department, a move made possible by the department’s announcement that it has approved an option for employees to wear a police-issued hijab.
“It’s nerve-wracking in a way,” Mohamed, 21, said of being the first woman of Somali descent in the department. “I want to be a good role model for others, especially Somali women.”
Mohamed was recognized at the police’s Western District building during a graduation ceremony for youth who recently completed the East African Junior Police Academy.
Police Chief Thomas Smith said St. Paul joins at least one other department — in Washington, D.C. — as the only departments in the U.S. to allow the hijab, a head scarf worn in public by some Muslim women.
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