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Chicago Researchers Identify Nation's First Female Cop

Associated Press

September 03, 2010

CHICAGO — A retired federal agent researching Chicago law enforcement history thinks the country’s first female police officer was employed in the Windy City.

Rick Barrett says he found a reference to Marie Owens as a Chicago officer in the 1890s. The Chicago Tribune says a woman joined the Los Angeles force in 1910, and that Oregon claims it had a female officer in 1908.

Barrett says Owens deserves “some recognition.”

He describes Owens as an Irish Catholic who wasn’t wealthy. She was tall with long, dark hair, grew up in Canada and was in her 20s when she moved with her husband to Chicago, where they had five children. She became a detective sergeant in 1891 and was given the power of arrest.

Chief Chicago History Museum historian Russell Lewis says Barrett’s findings are “great for Chicago.”

Information from: Chicago Tribune,

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Spartan_cops_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Wow, now Chicago is known for something good for once in a while..............

  • Battering-ram-full_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Neat the history of law enforcement especially when someone puts in the effort to find the real history keep digging Rick ! Great Article

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Good job Sister Owens...!!!

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Interesting fact but why the hell is this using up band width on this site?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Next up.....the first jewish cop, the first black cop, the first irish cop, the first ukrainian cop, the first gay cop, the first lesbian cop, the first hare krishna cop...and so on and so forth

  • Adp_max50


    over 3 years ago


    When you're retired you have lots of time to dig up things. We'll take whatever we can in this corrupt city: "great for Chicago" (yawn).

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