SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The first two women to enter the Sacramento Police force were honored Thursday for their exceptional service.
Flossie Crump and Felicia Allen were both sworn into the police department in 1974. The retired officers are considered “trailblazers” for paving the way for women to enter policing.
The women say they were constantly battling for respect from their male counterparts; they say surprisingly, they got more acceptance from the public.
Thursday was a celebration of Crump and Allen. Their journey was a roller coaster of ups and downs.
“There were no sexual harassment codes or laws to protect the way we were treated; we were ostracized,” said Felicia Allen.
Allen and Crump both started on the force in 1974 during a time they say the police department wasn’t prepared to work with women.
“We would hear them calling us names, throwing things over the lockers, just to let us know we were in their house,” Allen said.
They wore men’s police uniforms and were often mistaken for men. Allen recounts all the times she tried to promote and move within the department, only to be turned down.
“It was almost like make it or break it, and often times they would put us in situations where they were hoping we would fail,” said Flossie Crump.
Both women stood up to the challenge. Crump put in 25 years at the police department and retired as a detective. Allen was at the department for 16 years and was well-liked in the South Sacramento and Oak Park communities.
“We wouldn’t be as far as we are today without these two women today,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
Today, women make up 32 percent of the Sacramento police force, according to a city-wide audit released in January.
While Hahn says the department is still dominated by men, he’s pushing to bring more diversity, using Crump and Allen as a prime example of successful policing — matter what your color — or gender.
“They kicked the door open, and we have to make sure that door stays open not just for women, but for various minority groups,” said Chief Hahn.
Currently, 69 percent of officers at the Sacramento Police Department are White; 13 percent are Hispanic; 6 percent are Black.