The NYPD official Facebook page posted an inspirational mother-daughter story on Mother’s Day, which has been shared more than 600 times and received more than 6,000 reactions from social media users.
The post featured Det Laverda Pugliese-Phillips, who is a single mom. She enrolled in the police force after she was mugged in Brooklyn in the '80s. Her 34-year-old daughter, Lavonda Wise, is now also serving on the force as a captain.
“I just remember being extremely proud of her and saying wow, you know, when I grow up I want to be a woman like that. Everyone in the neighborhood was proud of her because there was no one really doing positive stuff with their lives at the time,” said Wise.
Pugliese-Phillips was inspired to become a cop when she was working with the police, tracking down the robbers who had mugged her.
“I was working closely with the detective, out there trying to find the perpetrator. And I felt like I was police, working with him. We actually apprehended the person who robbed me, and that’s what made me want to become a police officer,” said Pugliese-Phillips who is now 52 years old.
Pugliese-Phillips specializes in domestic-violence cases in the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene and started off at a desk job in 1988 where she would bring in her daughter, Wise, who was then a little girl.
Wise supported her mother throughout the initial years of her demanding job in the NYPD, taking care of household chores while Pugliese-Phillips, a mother of five, was away for several hours a day.
“When I came on this job, it was no if, ands or buts. You did what you were told, and they didn’t care. Now it’s a little more accommodating,” said Phillips.
Her daughter then joined the NYPD in 2001 after quitting her job as a banker.
“My mother was very adamant about me taking the test. I listened to her because she never guided me wrong,” said Wise.
Now the mother-daughter duo is climbing the ladder at the NYPD as they work together fighting crime and getting through life with each other’s support.