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Tara Walker

It was 143 years in the making, but Jersey City has sworn in its first Black female firefighter, reports

Tara Walker, 31, a former basketball star at Jersey City’s Marist High School, is now one of six women in the department.


“I knew there were a few women; they were teasing me, and things like that,” Walker said in a Ch. 7 Eyewitness News interview.

The diverse class includes two black men, four Hispanic men and an Asian man, city officials pointed out.

“Now today is really a great day because if you look at the 26 men and women sitting to my right, to your left, it really represents everything that is great about Jersey City,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said at the ceremony. “It is a diverse class, it is a young class, it is a motivated class, it is a class of people that have dedicated and lived their lives here in Jersey City.”

The new class brings the number of Jersey City firefighters to 557. City officials said that 47 members have been hired since Fulop took office.

“Waited for it since I was a kid,” said Anthony Silleto, 26, after he was sworn in. “It’s great.”

Read more here.

Tara Walker: Jersey City Swears In First Ever Black Woman Firefighter In Department’s History  was originally published on