Among the more than 3,400 students to graduate from John Jay College Wednesday was a trailblazer who already has made history. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Lucille Burrascano picked up her bachelor of science degree at John Jay College on Wednesday, checking off, she says, the final item on her bucket list.
"Elated," she said. "50 years in the making."
But don't be fooled. The 72-year-old has big plans, though perhaps not as big as what she's already accomplished.
"After the first gunfight, everything else is BS," she said.
Lucille Burrascano was once Police Officer Burrascano. She partnered with another woman, Katharine Salzano. In 1972, they became the first female partners to go on patrol, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn,
"Thirty-one-thousand cops did not want us on patrol. The city of New York did not want us on patrol. Sister policewomen did not want us on patrol. Nobody wanted us on patrol, But Title IX said we would go on patrol or you won't get money, so we went on patrol," Burrascano said. "But we proved them all wrong. We did the job and we survived."
Last year, the police commissioner honored Burrascano during Women's History Month. She spent 22 years in the NYPD, retiring as a detective specializing in crimes against children.
Burrascano never married and has no children, but classmates at John Jay have been a family of sorts. She's been a mentor to some of them, helping them through school.
One of those students, Denise Rosado, is one-third Burrascano's age.
"Just the way that she speaks and carries herself, and the way that she gives advice, kind of boosts my confidence a little bit just to continue and graduate today," Rosado said.
While attending John Jay, Burrascano says she's been working as as a security consultant and as a tour guide. She plans to return to John Jay for a Masters degree, and continue to serve, and to protect, in her own way.
"I'm starting a moms group, parents group. I'm going to teach them how to teach their children crime prevention tactics from early on," she said. "As long as there's life, there's hope. You never stop."