Judge in Larry Nassar case to be keynote speaker at Women in Blue event

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to speak at event celebrating female first responders

DETROIT – Before the Larry Nassar case, Rosemarie Aquilina was just like every other judge of the 30th Circuit Court in Ingham County. But after her sentencing of the sexual abuser and former physician at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, she has become quite well known.

And now the judge is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Detroit Public Safety Foundation's Women in Blue celebration.

The event is an annual breakfast and fundraiser for the DPSF, which supports the Detroit Police Department and the Detroit Fire Department with training, technology, equipment and more. This year's event is Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the MGM Grand Detroit's Grand Ballroom, 1777 Third Avenue.

According to a press release, this is one of the first public speeches Aquilina has given since presiding over the Nassar case. "Judge Aquilina is passionate about supporting strong women leaders and appreciates the work of women in public safety, especially the work designated to support and protect victims," the press release says.

A Women in Blue Officer of the Year and Detroit Fire Department Woman of the Year will be recognized during the breakfast. The winners "epitomize the values of the departments and have shown professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence," a press release says.

Co-chairs of the event include Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Detroit Police Commissioner Betty Brooks.

DPD Women in Blue Officer of the Year finalists:

  • Lts. Sonia Russell and LaShanna Potts
  • Sgts. Kimberly Blackwell, Shelley Holderbaum, Starr Gonzales, Kimberly Gabriel, Sherley Bledsoe and Shannon Jones
  • Dets. Danielle Harrison and Sarah Markel
  • Corp. Danielle Woods
  • Officers Alyssa Wadas, Kimberly Wright, Tamyra Harris-Hardy and Joi Gary Gaines

DFD Woman of the Year finalist:

  • Fire Engine Operator Verdine Day
  • Fire Lt. Theresa Halsell
  • Senior Firefighter Shannon Moran
  • Emergency Medical Technician Lenette Wood
  • Chief of Communications Kyla Watt