In my crime fiction Emily Stone Thriller Series, the main character is an ex-police officer where she had to go toe to toe with a male dominated profession. Certain situations (don’t want to give away any spoilers) dictated that she had to quit her post, but she more than made up for it being a stealthy, vigilante detective hunting down serial killers and anonymously emailing the information to the local detectives in charge of the cases.
In 1811, Francois Vidocq actually gave women their first show at police work when he employed them as paid undercover operatives. Also around the same time in Paris, Edmond Locard was establishing the first private crime lab. It is his principle (Locard Exchange Principle) that crime scene investigation uses today where with any contact between two items, there will be an exchange.
“In 1845, six women were hired by the New York City Police Department. At that time they were called police matrons and their job was to monitor and assist with minors and women inmates. After an assault took place on a young female prisoner 1891, it was determined that women and men inmates should be housed separately and matrons became a more important role. In 1908, the first female police officer, Lola Baldwin, was hired to carry out standard law enforcement duties. In 1910, Alice Wells was also hired by the LAPD. By 1912, Isabella Goodwin was the first woman to make Detective and in 1917, additional women were allowed to make arrests and carry out the same duties as their male counterparts.” Source (NYPD website & unusualhistoricals.com)
1846 – Six women were hired by the NYPD as police matrons
1908 – First Female “Police Officer” – Lola Baldwin
1910 – Alice Wells was hired by LAPD
1912 – First female to make Detective – Isabella Goodwin
1915 – International Association of Police Women was formed
1918 – First female Homicide Detective – Mary Sullivan
1919 – First African-American Woman in NYPD – Cora Parchment
1968 – First Female Patrol Officer
1985 – First female Police Chief – Penny Harrington in Portland, Oregon
In the early 1970s, there were less than 1% women police officers in the United States. Now, the average is about 15-20% of women police officers working today. Working as a police officer is not doubt a demanding occupation both physically and mentally for any gender; however, women have had extra obstacles to overcome in this male dominated profession.
Interestingly, it has been stated that women make strong police officers, due to the fact they generally have excellent verbal and reasoning skills. It helps to make up for the lack of brute strength in many situations.
Emily Stone has a tough act to follow with some impressive female police officers in history, but she manages to hunt down the serial killers and child abductors using her previous law enforcement experience, criminal profiling techniques, and solid forensic skills covertly.
Find out what Emily Stone is up to and ride along with a modern-day vigilante detective in Dark Mind.