1957 marked a historic year for the Regina Police Service with the hiring of the first female constable. The idea of having women as police officers had been debated since the early days of the police service, however, although there were female matrons and administrative staff, it wasn’t until 1937 that the real advocating began for women to become officers. The Regina Local Council of Women presented a strong case for the introduction of female officers, stating that they would be better able than their male counterparts to handle certain situations, including issues with women and girls, notification of death, prostitution, public health, youth delinquency and domestic cases. Despite the fact that there were female officers in 7 other Canadian police services, the city council voted, in 1940 and again in 1942, not to introduce women into the police service.
Over a decade later the debate was reopened, influenced largely by the development of new units within the police service for drugs, youth offenders and morality, and by the forward thinking of the new chief, Arthur Cookson, who felt that female officers would be invaluable to the development of the police service. As a result, in 1957, the Regina Police Service which numbered 126 officers hired its first female constable, Beryl Beck. Originally from Yorkton, Beck had moved to Regina for a career in nursing. However, after seeing the job advertised, she applied, and was later quoted in the newspaper as saying she was moved to apply because of the “spirit of adventure and an urge to help wayward girls”. – READ MORE