Edith J. Taylor, Cambridge’s first policewoman, courtesy of the Cambridge Police Department.
From the history of the Cambridge Police Department:
Edith J. Taylor spent 33 years as a Cambridge Police Officer. Hired as an investigator in July of 1919, she became a full-time policewoman in March of 1921.
She is remembered as a woman who enjoyed helping Cambridge youth stay on the right path. She was a key player in helping to establish a Big Brother/Big Sister program in the city. She felt that it would be better to have an older “sibling” looking after a young person rather than a police officer. Officer Taylor felt that because of the freedom of the times and the speed of modern living, the children of the era were a bit harder to control than those of 30 years ago (to put this in perspective, 30 years ago to her was before 1900). She believed that parents of teen-age children should know where they are at night, whom they are with and that they should set curfews.
Ms. Taylor was involved in other duties as well. A story she liked to tell was about how she used to patrol Harvard Square establishments asking women to put out their cigarettes.
She was eventually succeeded in the department by Mrs. Louise Nelson Darling as the second female police officer.
**Again, special thanks to Dan Sullivan for discovering Ms. Taylor’s photo!**