Twenty-seven years ago Sergeant Deirdre Smith-Withers entered a career in law enforcement, the roots of which have spanned generations and an ocean. For her, it was a calling rather than a career decision. In generations past, her family served in the Irish Police Force with her cousin only recently retired as a Detective Sergeant after forty years with the Dublin Police. Here in America, it was to be no different. Her father is a retired Inspector from the NYPD and promoted the idea of careers in law enforcement for both his daughters. Her sister has served with the FBI for 23 years and her husband Patrick Withers is retired from the NYPD and has served the County as Police Commissioner with the Ramapo Police Department. To say that policing is in her blood would be an understatement!
Deirdre’s mother journeyed as a child from her home in County Leitrim and her paternal grandparents immigrated to New York from New Ross, County Wexford. Having a combination of stalwart Leitrim people complimented by her Wexford clan has served Deirdre well throughout her years in public service. As a recipient of the 2005 Rockland County PBA Medal of Valor, it’s clear that Deirdre is no stranger to the dangers of policing on a daily basis. Starting her career in the NYPD after graduating from Manhattan College gave Deirdre the experience and confidence to grow as a law enforcement professional. For the past twenty-two years, Deirdre has served the citizens of Suffern protecting them around the clock as an officer and supervisor. She earned the respect of her peers who see her as both a mentor and a friend.
Receiving this most prestigious honor is not something that Deirdre takes lightly. She is proud of her career and appreciative of all her friends and co-workers for their support throughout the years. Most important, however, has been her family: her husband Patrick and her daughters Cailin and Niamh. They have been her “cúis le bheith” (reason to be). Her brother Patrick Pearse, who was born on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, has the honor of being named for one of the leaders. Her sister Sheila has always been her confidant and best friend. And, her sister-in-law Colleen Latimer was responsible for bringing her to the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Lastly, she thanks her mother Bridget and her father Francis for a wonderful childhood. As she walks at the lead of the parade, Deirdre recognizes she is there because each and every one of those named have been there for her over the years.
Go raibh maith agat.