Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Women in Policing, State and Local
Dorothy Moses Schulz
The official recognition of women in policing in the United States is usually associated with the appointment of Alice Stebbins Wells to the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910 as the first woman to be called a “policewoman.” Wells's employment set in motion a movement for policewomen that, despite setbacks, culminated in the late 1960s and early 1970s with women winning the right to equal employment in policing. However, women had served both officially and unofficially as matrons in prisons and jails, and as sheriffs’ deputies, since the late 1880s. What made Wells different was not just that she was actually called a policewoman; her appointment was not only for the convenience of women caring for women, but was also part of a larger movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries both to reform policing and to increase the roles of women in public events and local government. ...