First Women Police - 1917 by Peter Skehan
It was during the First World War that women were first introduced into the ranks of the Police Force in Western Australia.
The first two Women Constables were Mrs H. Dugdale and Miss L. Chipper. The women were appointed with the object of safekeeping the moral welfare of women and children, particularly of girls between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one years. They worked in plain-clothes and were instructed to patrol parks, places of entertainment and other areas where women and children were to be found.
A break-through for women of that era was that they received the same wages as their male counterparts. Their duties widened over the years, but they remained as a single unit, and if they were to marry were discharged from the Force.
The requirement for entry as a trained nurse was lifted in 1957.
1975-76 saw the requirement to be unmarried lifted, and integration in all areas then took place. Women went into uniform and were trained in conjunction with male applicants. Three women were appointed as Detectives in this same period.
Women Police officers in Western Australia have subsequently held positions at all the rank levels up to Assistant Commissioner.