Sheilah A. Coley joined the Newark Police Department in 1989. As a patrol officer, she was assigned to the West and East Districts. In 1991, she was a detective in the Narcotics Unit and the East Detectives’ Squad. She was also worked with the Newark Police Athletic League (NPAL), where she developed and supervised activities for the youth population.
In 1996, Chief Coley was promoted to Sergeant. In that capacity, she returned to the West District as Patrol Supervisor. She was later assigned to the Internal Affairs and Professional Standards Bureaus. In 1999, she was assigned as the Commander of the South District Detective Squad.
Promoted to Lieutenant in 2000, she was assigned to the Safer Cities Task Force, Commander of the Sexual Assault Rape Analysis (SARA) Unit. In 2002, she became the Executive Officer of the Criminal Investigation Bureau and also served a brief term as Investigative Lieutenant in the Communications Division.
Upon being promoted to Captain in 2004, she assumed responsibility as Executive Officer of the South District, subsequently becoming Commander of the South District (5th Precinct). Additionally as Captain, Chief Coley has been the Commander of the Police Academy, Criminal Investigations, Communications Division and currently, the Office of Professional Responsibility.
Chief Coley attended the Community College of the Air Force and Essex County College. She attended the Yale University Child Study Program, the Senior Institute for Policing, Penn State’s POLEX Program, Northwestern University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.