S Anne NEWELL
• Police Officer
• Human Rights Activist
S Anne NEWELL
Anne Newell spent 23 years as an Anchorage police officer and detective. At 27 she was the first female police officer at the Anchorage Police Department with powers of arrest.
When she arrived in September 1973 she applied to APD with an associate degree in Science in Law Enforcement and with some police experience. Newell had no idea how difficult the job would be and how much time would pass before she would be as an employed APD officer. At the end of the first interview, she said: “The response was that ‘we do not employ women to be police officers.” Newell filed her lawsuit with the State Human Rights Commission against APD and the City of Anchorage.
She sued to provide women the opportunity to be police officers at APD so they could show they could do the job. The suit took more than two years to settle; in the interim Newell became a volunteer auxiliary police officer, working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. At the same time she was working full time at East High school, and with her husband raised six children.
Her suit was settled in November, 1975, so she was able to attend a Police Academy and become a sworn officer. While on the police force she endured the rude, vulgar and shortsighted behavior from some of her male counterparts. Her success as a police officer made it easier for other women to become sworn officers.
She received the Alaska Women in Police award of Achievement in 1996, for successfully arresting sex offenders who were prosecuted and imprisoned. She retired after 23 years with the Anchorage Police Department.View Extended Bio