Riverside police officer sworn in after decades-old theft leads to decertification

A story of perseverance in Riverside.  

A police officer, Zenna Ramos, whose police powers were decertified because of a vacated misdemeanor charge from 15 years ago, was not going to let that small incident derail her entire career.

Ramos, with the backing of the Village of Riverside, did not give up her fight to become an officer and on Thursday night, she was officially sworn in.

Her husband, Ray, placed the badge on her uniform at a ceremony outside Riverside Village Hall.

"The bravery that this young woman showed us was amazing," said Village President Joseph Ballerine.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board yanked Ramos's certification because of a misdemeanor arrest for retail theft way back in 2008. The stolen item: a sweatshirt valued at $14.99. 

The Village helped her appeal.


Suburban cop who stole $15 shirt in 2008 decertified by Illinois, can no longer be a police officer

A suburban police officer was decertified for a crime she committed 15 years ago.

"The reason why we decided to make this challenge is that first of all, it was improper. But more importantly: it is what we saw in Zenna Ramos," said Matthew Buckley, Riverside Public Safety Director. 

"I'm just so happy," said Officer Ramos. "I'm grateful to be here. I wanted to be here. I didn't want to leave. I'm so grateful for everybody's support."

"She's awakened people in the state police department, in the governor's office, all over. So she's a leader," said State Rep. LaShawn Ford, who helped Ramos in her appeal.

"I'm very, very proud of her," said her mother, Pauline Miranda.  "And I'm very proud of everyone who helped her. I cannot thank them enough." 

Ford, who attended Thursday's ceremony, said he believes that Ramos' perseverance in not giving up her fight, will pave the way for other aspiring police officers who may also have vacated misdemeanors on their records to have the same opportunity to serve.