NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- She's breaking barriers and making history for the New York City police department.
Dr. Lynn O'Connor was sworn in Monday as the first Black female surgeon of the NYPD medical division.
"It's heavy as the head that wears the crown, and I hope I'm not the last, I'm going to make sure I'm not the last," she said.
Dr. O'Connor is a colorectal surgeon and lifelong New Yorker.
"As someone who was born in Manhattan, raised in Queens, and lives in Long Island, it's truly an honor to be sworn in as the first Black female police surgeon for the New York City Police Department. I am excited to bring the collective experience of merging law and medicine together while fostering community relations to reach people of all ages and backgrounds to help make a positive impact on their health," said Dr. O'Connor
She plans to use her position within the NYPD to raise awareness about colorectal cancer, proper nutrition, and exercise.
"She has devoted herself to the community and travels around the world to make sure people are educated, she is definitely an inspiration for all of us," said patient Onida Coward Mayers.
The doctor will be responsible for determining the fitness for duty of uniformed officers, responding to hospitalized members who are injured or seriously ill, following their course of treatment, and providing consults in her area of medical expertise.
O'Connor is also chief of colon and rectal surgery at Mercy Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital. She thinks pairing her two roles will potentially save lives.
"We are seeing increased rates in younger and younger patients, that's why this position is important, we have a younger force and we've got 30 and 40-year-olds who are being diagnosed with it," O'Connor said.
O'Connor's daughter offered her words of praise after she was sworn in.
"When I heard the news, I was excited but I was also like, it makes sense because you're a rockstar," Danielle Harris said. "She is the perfect person for this job because her heart is in it and you can tell."
Dr. O'Connor got her master's in public health from Yale, and her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine.
She completed her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University.