City Council backs woman's efforts to seek police officer job

·2 min read

Aug. 28—HAVERHILL — The City Council has rallied around yet another woman looking to serve as one of Haverhill's emergency responders.

When it met Tuesday night, the council voted unanimously to file a home rule petition on behalf of Lauren Bonnell, who informed the council that she has already taken and passed the police Civil Service exam, "with a good score" and that she is on the eligibility list. But to achieve her dream of becoming an officer, she said she will need permission from the legislature because Haverhill's maximum age for taking the test is 32 and that she turned 37 in April.

"I would love to serve and protect my city that I have been raising my two children in for many years," Bonnell said in a letter to the council.

"I've wanted this for over 10-plus years, however, my children were young and I was unable to pursue the job I've always wanted," Bonnell added. "Now that they are older, I can finally seek the position I've always aspired for."

Bonnell told the council that she currently works for the Lawrence District Court, where she's worked in the criminal and civil divisions and has learned a lot about state laws from working with police officers and court officials.

Bonnell added that if granted the opportunity to serve and protect her city and the home of her family, that she would be an asset to the Haverhill police force and the community.

Councilor Melinda Barrett entered a motion to file a home rule petition to allow Bonnell to become a police officer in Haverhill, "notwithstanding the age requirement."

Voting to approve Bonnell's request were council members John Michitson, Joseph Bevilacqua, Melinda Barrett, Thomas Sullivan, Michael McGonagle, Catherine Rogers and Shaun Toohey. Councilors Melissa Lewandowski and Council President Tim Jordan were absent.

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the council voted unanimously to file a home rule petition with the legislature asking permission for Melanie Figueroa to take the firefighter Civil Service exam in October, despite the fact that she is one year above the maximum testing age of 32. Figueroa's twin sister Milady Figueroa is a Haverhill Police Officer.

According to the City Council office, the council filed four petitions in 2020 on behalf of residents looking to take the firefighter exam.

In 2021, the council filed one for the firefighter exam and one for the police exam. So far this year, the council has filed one home rule petition for Melanie Figueroa and one for Lauren Bonnell.