BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Bergenfield Police Chief Cathy Madalone — the first woman to head a municipal police force in Bergen County — will be honored as a trailblazer Sunday.
She and five other women will receive the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award Sunday at the 7th Annual Women’s History Month event hosted by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez .
The public is invited to the 3 p.m. celebration at Montclair State University.
Argine Safari of Fort Lee, a music teacher at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, is the other Bergen County woman to be honored.
The awards are named for the senator’s late mother, a Cuban immigrant who died in 2009 after a long fight with Alzheimer’s disease.
“My mother showed me the meaning of courage, integrity and the importance of fighting for what’s right every single day of her life,” Menendez said.
“She blazed that trail for me.”
Award recipients also are strong, wise, determined women, he added.
When Chief Madalone joined the force in 1994 at age 25, she was Bergenfield’s first female officer.
She made history on Sept. 1, 2015 when she was sworn in as the first female chief of a local police department in the county.
In January, Chief Madalone, who also is a licensed funeral director, was appointed to the executive board of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association.
Among her educational credits are a master’s degree in Applied Sociology from Montclair University.
She also attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Active in the community, the chief volunteers as a girls’ basketball and softball coach.
Safari, who came to Pascack Valley High School in 2005, is a Grammy Award-nominated music educator.
She is the 2016-2017 Bergen County Teacher of the Year and reigning 2017 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.
In 2013, Safari, who was born in Armenia and speaks three languages, cofounded Stage Scene and Song Performing Arts, a nonprofit theater arts company.
Under her direction, choirs at Pascack Valley High School have earned awards and performed at venues from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles to Dublin.
For more information on how to attend the awards program, CLICK HERE .