CO Leslie Hills mourned as a 'Woman of Valor'
C.O. Leslie Hills, who died May 16 apparently of a heart attack after she had finished her regular over- night tour at Otis Bantum Correction Center on Rikers Island, was mourned by members of her immediate family as well as hundreds of members of her extended family -- NYC Correction -- at funeral services May 23, 2006, in St. Albans, Queens.

The rank and file came to honor her memory and to show support to her daughters Shaquiana and Dayquan and granddaughter Ashanti. Her co-workers reminisced on what a great cook C.O. Hills was and how she would regularly bring food to work for fellow officers to share. If there was party to be given for a staffer, be it birthday, shower or retirement, she could be counted on to cook up something special and memorable. Her macaroni and cheese and her banana pudding were called legendary.

The ceremonies at the J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home for the 46-year-old Hills, who had joined the Department in 1989, also drew Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Commissioner Martin Horn, COBA President Norman Seabrook.

The commissioner called her a "Woman of Valor," referencing the Solomon-attributed Shabbat evening meal hymn Eshet Chayil that begins, in some translations: An accomplished woman, who can find? Her value is far beyond pearls and contains the line She arises while it is still night, and gives food to her household . . .

The COBA president remarked he never did figure out how she "got through the magnetometers" the large metal trays of food she used to bring to work for her colleagues.

The mayor, who noted she "would never let anyone go hungry" if she could help it, also pointed out that C.O. Hills chose overnight tours so that she would be home to help her children, during their school years, get ready mornings and be home for them when they returned.

For more on the Leslie Hills funeral service, visit The Guardian Chronicles from which the image above right by C.O. Ralph E. Smith was taken. The sepia portrait above left is based on an image found on The Chief web site.

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