In honor of Women’s History Month, the Washington Township Police Department recognized the Fabulous Five female officers with whom they work every day.
A Facebook post from the department recognized its female officers on International Women’s Day. The post read:
“Sgt. Lisa Frattali and officer Jess Walton, officer Morgan Loiodice, officer Rebecca Wood and officer Alyssa Arnold are respected, valued, talented and beloved members of our agency that make the Washington Township Police Department proud on a daily basis. We thank them for their devotion to our community. Be safe and stay safe!”
Frattali has been with the department for 25 years and plans to retire in four months. She was on patrol before becoming part of the department’s detective bureau, where she spent five and a half years. She then came back to run the department.
Loiodice was with the township department for a few years before moving to Maryland. She came back to the township four years ago and has helped the department with its accreditation process. Loiodice has seven years as an officer under her belt, with more than four of those spent in the township. She is also the new mother to a baby girl.
Arnold has been with the department for five years, some of which she spent as part of the special investigations unit within the detective bureau. The assignment was meant to last three months, but was cut short due to COVID. She is now back on patrol.
Wood has been with the department for four years as of June. She received her law and justice degree from Rowan University. Walton has been with the department for almost seven years.
Most of the five women grew up in the area and heeded a calling at a young age to help those in need. All of them expressed their gratitude at being part of the township police and they also appreciate the emphasis the department puts on interacting with the community.
“Township has an amazing reputation,” said Frattali. “Their police department is pretty elite to others. Obviously you see that with our social media, but even back then, it was the place to work and it was hard to get in here.”
According to the women, there are not many differences between the male and female officers at the department in terms of dedication and work ethic, although they do acknowledge a slight difference sometimes when it comes to answering calls.
“I feel like there is a slight difference, which is the compassion,” Wood explained. “I think guys have it, but just at a different degree than the women do. I feel like sometimes I can connect in a different way than men can.”
The officers recognize their positions as role models to younger girls who are interested in going into law enforcement. One of them had a story about a young girl she remembers from years ago.
“We do the Shop With a Cop event every Christmas … The little girl I got teamed up with, Izzy Innman, she was the biggest sweetheart and was super quiet,” Walton recalled.
She told how Innman expressed her interest in becoming an officer when she was older. Years later, her older brother Justin was hired to the department and spoke about how his sister remembered Walton as an inspiration and that she was interested in participating in a junior police academy.
“That one on one with such a young girl who wants to go that route, who remembered it for years, little things like that is why I got into police work,” Walton noted. “Knowing you have that impact on someone and they remember you goes a really long way.”
The female officers hope they can spark an interest in young women to pursue careers on the force, no matter how difficult it may seem.
“Sometimes, when you are in the academy, it is hard. It’s not easy,” said Loiodice. “Don’t give up; there are a lot of times where you are going to doubt yourself and wonder why you are putting yourself through that. But it all pays off in the end. It’s never too late.
“The biggest thing is not to give up on yourself.”