In 1909, Los Angeles social worker Alice Stebbins Wells petitioned Mayor George Alexander and the city council, requesting that an ordinance providing for Los Angeles policewomen be adopted. Not only was the measure passed but on Sept. 12, 1910, Wells was appointed as the nation’s first female policewoman with arrest powers.
The significance of the appointment of Alice Stebbins Wellls and her courage and bravery not only in the appointed position of a police officer but in the application for the position in the LAPD itself should never be underestimated. Her efforts have inspired thousands of women like her to demonstrate what it takes to excel in the role of a policewoman – to protect and serve.
Faircount was commissioned by the Los Angeles Women Police Officers and Associates (LAWPOA), of which Alice Stebbins Wells was a founder in 1925, to produce a special 100th anniversary publication to commemorate her appointment as the first policewoman in the United States with arrest powers. 100 Years of Law Enforcement – A Century of Service was produced in close collaboration with LAWPOA and was distributed to members of the association, leaders in law enforcement communities from all over the world, leading law enforcement personnel, and affiliated professional organizations. The publication was also available at international law enforcement-related training conferences and seminars.