First NYPD Woman Precinct Leader Appointed, 1921

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Women in Law Enforcement Timeline

First NYPD Woman Precinct Leader Appointed, 1921


Photograph: First Woman Precinct Leader, NYPD, Mary Hamilton, 1924. 2006.280.1.5. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.

Mary E. Hamilton Becomes First Woman Precinct Leader, NYPD

Mrs. Mary E. Hamilton was one of the first patrolwomen, according to a New York Times article on May 8, 1921:

“Mrs. Hamilton is Director of the New York City Women’s Police Precinct. This precinct housed a school for the training of policewomen ‘with a view to increasing their usefulness.’”

The Women’s department focused responsibility on the finding and caring for missing persons and runaways, particularly young girls.

In 1922, the International Association of Chiefs of Police affirmed that women were essential members of any modern police department.