African American History of the 1st blacks in the BPD history
1937- First African American female Violet Hill Whyte, became Baltimore Police Department’s first African American female officer hired. She worked out of the Western District for her 30 year career with the department, rose to the rank of Lieutenant. She was promoted to Sergeant in 1955 and Lieutenant in 1967. During her career she never missed a day of work.
1979 – Officer Linda Flood became the first female to assign to plain clothes in the newly formed Stop Squad, which was responsible for arresting street level drug dealers. She did not stop there; she would later become the first female aerial observer in the helicopter unit.
1981 – Janice West became the first female officer assigned to the Mounted Unit.
1983 – 15 January 1983 – The First Woman Promoted to District Commander – Major Bessie R Norris, was promoted to Major and assumed her duties as Commander of the Southwestern District
2002 – Police Officer Crystal Deneen Sheffield was the first female officer to die in the line of Duty and also awarded the “Medal of Honor.”