Monday, February 20, 2012

Women on the state police force

A report issued by the Office of Legislative Research last week examined state police staffing levels throughout history.
The OLR does research on behalf of legislators. In this case, they sought to answer, "How the law on state police staffing levels has changed over time," but what they produced was an interesting look at the history of the Connecticut State Police, an a fascinating look at the history of women on the force.
For example, until 1940 the law only provided for men on the state police, and that, when the law changed, it allowed for only two women on the force?
These two women were Evelyn Jennie Briggs and Kathryn Betts Haggerty β€” they were called "State Police Women" and only took part in plain clothes investigations. A few years later the law was changed to allow 12 women on the force, but it wasn't until 1973 that the law was changed to allow the state to hire as many officers, men or women, as was required β€” β€œan adequate number ... to efficiently maintain the operation of the department in keeping with budgetary allowances.”
The history of the Connecticut State Police is a fascinating one. The force has grown from a group of five men in May 29, 1903, paid $3 a day, who traveled the state by railroad to deal with moonshiners, to the group of thousands of men and women on the force today (a minimum of 1,248 as required by law since 1998).


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