December 29, 2017
When the first women police officers in St. Louis graduated from the academy in 1951, not all of them were wearing necklaces, but all of them were in high heels. They reminded me of June Cleaver, but with guns instead of vacuum cleaners.
Their first uniforms were a jacket and skirt—with no place to hold their guns. And yes, they had to wear heels on the job.
Follow this link to read more in an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The article is about one specific officer, but there’s some interesting background on women in the force. For instance, the female officers were paid the same as the male officers—not what I was expecting.
It wasn’t all gravy, though. After 4-1/2 years on the job, this officer had to resign because the force hired her husband, and they couldn’t both be on the force—but she dealt with that, too.
It’s a fascinating story of progressive thinking mixed with the limitations of society at the time.
And also, of course, about a woman who took the good with the bad, kept her sense of humor, and made some of her own rules to get around society’s.