When Carole Freeman joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1970, women could not work in the field, so she took a post at the jail. But that changed two years later when the Police Foundation selected the LASD to take part in a national pilot program training female deputies for patrol duty.
Freeman jumped at the chance to participate in this program.
She and 20 other woman took an 80-hour training course before getting assigned to various stations throughout the county as patrol deputies. Freeman became the first female patrol deputy assigned to the Temple City Station, which services incorporated areas of Glendora, among other San Gabriel Valley cities.
"I am so proud of the women that I worked with in that program. Not a one of them quit," Freeman said. "No one went whining and crying to their mamas."
However, the success of Freeman and her fellow female patrol deputies might never have been possible if not for Margaret Queen Adams.
It has been 100 years since Adams became the first female Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, sworn in by Sheriff William Hammel in 1912. Having separated from her husband, she needed work to support her two children. She served in the Civil Division of the Sheriff's Department for 35 years, retiring at age 72.
To celebrate this historic milestone, the Sheriff's Department hosted guided tours of the Sybil Brand Institute for Women by deputies who once worked at this jail Saturday. SBI was the Los Angeles County jail for women from 1963-1997.
Freeman and other groundbreaking women were on hand to talk their experiences with the public during the commemoration.