New York Police Department Officers Group Photo, ca. 1940

THE COLLECTION

Women in Law Enforcement Timeline

New York Police Department Officers Group Photo, ca. 1940


Photograph: New York Police Department Officers group photo, all holding their pistols, ca. 1940. Shows 10 men and four women. 2008.33.8. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.

By 1948, 30 percent of FBI employees were women. They worked as secretaries, file clerks, radio operators, fingerprint examiners, or lab technicians. Occasionally, women assisted special agents by posing as their dates on a surveillance mission, but weren’t permitted to become special agents themselves.

1956: The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) was formed as a continuation of the International Association of Policewomen (IAP).