On September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police Department Officer Sharon Miller responded to reports of a plane crash at the World Trade Center from her post at the PAPD academy in Jersey City. Leading a team of academy responders was PAPD Captain Kathy N. Mazza
. Arriving on scene, Miller and several of her colleagues left their uniform caps in a patrol car, reasoning that they were unnecessary under the circumstances. Miller entered the North Tower with the team and began walking upstairs, searching each floor and helping to evacuate civilians. She encouraged people to move quickly and remain calm. Miller recognized many of the individuals moving down the stairs from her own days as a Port Authority civilian employee. During the evacuation, Miller became inexplicably separated from her coworkers when the North Tower collapsed and is the only survivor among them. Her recovered police cap was later returned to her.