In 1854, the NYC police force recruited its first female workers, but not as police officers but as police matrons to guard and search female prisoners, and they didn’t have any authority to enforce the law. It took more than 30 years until Marie Owens was hired to the Chicago Police Department and became the first policewoman in the US. Afterward, other police departments began to recruit women, but only by quotas. The few women who joined the forces faced discrimination and sexism daily. Only in 1972, after Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, police departments were obliged to hire women in the same capacity as men. Throughout the years, more women joined the force making 10% of the police force in 2021.
National Police Woman Day is celebrated annually on September 12. It honors the brave women who keep our nation safe, acknowledging their dedication, courage, and sacrifice and celebrating their contribution. The day also acknowledges the obstacles women had to overcome to be a part of the force and the improvements that still need to occur so women will get the same opportunities as first responders as men.
On the day, many police departments are holding events to honor the women in service and running campaigns to urge more women to join the force. You can celebrate the day by sharing your appreciation to the female police officers in your community on social media using #NationalPoliceWomanDay.
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