ANDOVER — Mary Barlett wanted to be a police officer since she was a child, but there were few female role models for her to follow.
Today, Bartlett is a detective lieutenant in the domestic and sexual assault unit of the Lawrence Police Department.
She is also the most recent recipient of the Women of the Year award from Delamano Inc., a non -profit organization dedicated to eliminating domestic violence through intervention and education.
She received the award during a dinner at the Andover Country Club Friday.
“My father told me ‘you can do basically what you set your mind to’,” she said after receiving the honor.
Delamano operates a helpline in English and Spanish and assists victims with access to temporary shelter, advocacy, support, counseling and educational programs.
President Mary McAlary said Delamano is Spanish for holding hands.
”Let’s hold out hands to help victims of domestic violence and make a difference,” she said.
Bartlett was presented the award by Police Chief John Romero and three seventh graders from Esperanza Academy, an all-girl middle school in Lawrence.
”I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” she said later. “I’m very grateful to service the people of Lawrence.”
Born in Methuen, Bartlett graduated from St. Mary High School and attended Lowell State College.
Bartlett was appointed a reserve officer with the Lawrence Police Department in 1989 and became a police officer the following year. She was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1999 and in 2002 to Detective Lieutenant. Before joining the Lawrence Police Department, Bartlett was a bookkeeper at Lawrence District Court for five years.
After Romero was named chief, he said he read the files of several officers and was impressed with Bartlett’s work in the department. He said officers who work with sexual abuse cases usually stay on the job between three to five years, but Bartlett has been doing it for 24 years.