1970s: Policework Opportunities Significantly Increased for Women

THE COLLECTION

Women in Law Enforcement Timeline

1970s: Policework Opportunities Significantly Increased for Women


Photograph: Elizabeth Robinson sitting in squad car, ca. 1970. 2011.40.78. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.

1970s: Women began attending regular police academies with men in large numbers. The number of women in supervisory positions also increased in the 1970s.

The FBI announced that women would be accepted as special agents in 1972, and on July 17, 1972, the first women since the 1920s (Alaska Davidson, Jessie Duckstein and Lenore Houston served as FBI agents in the 1920s), Susan Lynn Roley, a Marine Corps lieutenant, and Joanne Pierce, a former nun who had been a secretary with the FBI, became special agents.