The Edmonton Police Service has been a co-ed organization for 100 years and the force is celebrating the milestone with a new photo exhibit at city hall.
The “100 years of Women in the EPS” is now open in the building’s main lobby, and features photographs dating back to the first female recruit, Const. Annie Jackson who signed up in 1912.
Const. Helen Black, who put the exhibit together, said Jackson’s appointment to the ranks was a major step forward.
“One hundred years ago the Edmonton police hired the first female police officer not only in Edmonton, but anywhere in Canada,” Black said at the exhibit launch Wednesday.
Not only would the men on the force at the time have the first female colleague of any force in Canada, but Black said she received equal pay, which was unheard of at the time.
“Equal pay back then would have been a big deal to her male counterparts, considering women weren’t even voting,” said Black.
Black, who works in recruiting, said today roughly 20 per cent of the force is female and officers have the same expectations and duties regardless of their gender.
“You go through the same training as males and so the expectation is definitely equal to that of the males.”