Barbara Hammerman, honored posthumously, devoted her 23-year career as a San Mateo police officer and thousands of hours as a community volunteer to serving the disenfranchised, the forgotten and the battered. Her life cut short by cancer at age 47, Barbara is remembered as a trailblazer whose energy and devotion to a vision of peace and justice made a lasting difference in our community. Barbara made the fight against domestic violence and equality for women her life’s work. She helped develop and launch the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center’s Victim/Offender Mediation Program and served on the boards for Battered Women’s Services, and CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse). She had a special passion for helping young people, consulting with local schools about drug abuse trends. Herself an accomplished athlete, Barbara shared her talent and energy with hundreds of youngsters through her hands-on leadership in the San Mateo Police Activities League. In everything she did, Barbara was devoted to equality for women and minorities. She was the first openly gay officer in the San Mateo Police Department and the first woman to achieve the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant. Barbara’s career and public service achievements are legendary, not just for her work, but for her trailblazing courage. This champion for the vulnerable is truly missed. She will be long remembered for her short life’s great work.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in 2008.