Dallas’ Gray, Women’s Policing Pioneer, Retires


Assistant Dallas Police Chief Shirley Gray retires this week after 33 years on the force, says the Dallas Morning news. She has served longer than any of the roughly 520 women in the nearly 3,000-member department. “If I was going to war, I’d want Shirley Gray next to me,” Police Chief David Kunkle said. Gray, 59, who grew up in Muskogee, Ok., never dreamed of a policing career. She figured she’d end up in a traditional female occupation like teaching. She joined the police force and happened to be in the first class in which women were assigned to patrol duty. “We didn’t have anything to wear” because until then, women had worn skirts, she recalled. “We had to scrounge through the quartermaster to find trousers and shirts that would fit us.”

Drivers were shocked to be pulled over by a woman. “People would stare at you like you were from outer space,” she said. “They were in disbelief.” One important thing she learned was never to allow a male officer to see her scared, even when she was fighting someone far larger. “You had to know how to fight,” she said. “If you backed out of any fight, that would be the kiss of death for a woman in the field.”

Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-chiefgray_28met.ART.Nort

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