Sen. Carper Helps Local Police Officer Receive U.S. Citizenship & Keep her Job on the Force

BETHANY BEACH, DE – Police Officer Joanna Reynolds, a former resident of Poland, received her United States Citizenship today, thanks in part to the help of Senator Tom Carper’s office. Without becoming a U.S. Citizen she would have lost her police certification. Upon receiving a letter from the Bethany Beach Police Department asking for assistance, the Office of Senator Carper began immediately working on the case. A letter was sent to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) along with a letter of recommendation from the Chief of the Bethany Beach Police Department. As a result, Ms. Reynolds was granted an interview with BCIS and subsequently obtained her naturalization. “As a police officer in Sussex County, Ms. Reynolds has served her community well,” said Carper. “We are pleased to have been able to make a difference in the life of someone who is making a difference in our community. My staff and I are thrilled for Ms. Reynolds and the entire Bethany Beach Police Department.” In March of 1991, the Bethany Beach Police Department hired Ms. Reynolds as a police officer. At the time of her hire and subsequent certification by Delaware Council on Police Training (COPT), Ms. Reynolds did not have her citizenship. Her requirement to be a U.S. citizen by COPT was waived because she had initiated the process to become a citizen and it was felt that her citizenship was imminent. Because the process had taken longer than expected, Ms. Reynolds was removed from patrol duty and transferred to an in house position of assisting with desk and administrative tasks. Her weapons and arrest powers were taken from her until her citizenship was obtained. Reynolds was named MADD Officer of the Year (April 2003). After graduating from the Delaware State Police Academy, she received the Director of Public Safety Award for outstanding performance (June 2001).