Women in Law Enforcement Timeline
Late 1960s-Early 1970s: Women First on Uniform Patrol
Photograph: Elizabeth Robinson and Betty Blankenship in shooting range with guns poised, man standing behind them, ca. 1970. 2011.40.72. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.
1967: Elizabeth Robinson and Betty Blankenship joined the Indianapolis Police Department and are the nation’s first women assigned to patrol duties in a car.
1969: President Nixon’s Executive Order 11478 signed on August 8, 1969, ended discrimination in the federal service based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap. This lifted the ban on employing women as special agents. Women now held authority to carry firearms, execute search warrants, and make arrests.