OF SPIRIT: An Autobiography
By Chief Penny
Quality Paperback . 288pp . $26.95
is the first woman in America to break through the bulletproof
glass ceiling, and achieve the rank of Chief of a major metropolitan
police force. She is regarded by some as a maverick who challenged
the system, and by others as a celebrity. She faced discrimination
and harassment, personal tragedies and triumphs as she battled
a system that is still male-dominated. In this revealing story,
Harrington describes with great candor her 23 years in law
enforcement, up to and including her promotion to Chief of
the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon and why she left
her hard-won position following a scandal and rumors that
rocked Portland and were covered in newspapers around the
Excerpt from TRIUMPH of
In 1905, the City of Portland,
Oregon, hired social worker Lola Baldwin and gave her police powers
to lead a small force of women charged with protecting the moral
safety of women and young girls during the Lewis and Clark Exposition.
They were so effective that in 1908 Portland organized the Department
of Public Safety for the Protection of Young Girls and Women, and
named Baldwin its director.
In 1985, seventy-seven years
later, Portland made history again by naming a woman chief of police.
It was the first time a major American city chose a woman to occupy
its top cop position and the appointment had implications that would
go far beyond Portland to change the face of policing forever.
That woman was me. My decision
as a young woman, in the 1960s, to study police administration at
Michigan State University led me on an incredible and very public
journey of professional growth and achievement, personal tragedy
and despair, and finally to triumph. I went from being a celebrity
to a pariah. I opened many doors to policing for women, only to
have them slammed shut in my face. In only one year, I went from
being Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year and one of Harvard
Law Schools Top 10 Most Influential Women in Law, to Time
magazine's label of Portland's Tarnished Penny...
I have been asked many times
to write a book that fully exposes the intimate details of my story,
so that other women women in all careers may learn and succeed.
My whole story, and the lessons to be learned, remained deep in
my heart and mind until now.
how one woman's spirit can triumph over the toughest of 'ole' boys
Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
"Beneficial ... for courses
such as Women in the Criminal Justice System and Introduction to
National Women's Studies Association Journal, Spring 2001
"An explosive look at American
policing ...This gutsy, often hilarious book really packs a punch."
Connie Fletcher, PhD, Associate Professor of Communications,
Loyola University, Chicago and Author of What Cops Know and
Breaking and Entering
"...Penny's fight against
prejudice and discrimination is must reading...."
Dorothy Moses Schulz, Police Historian and Associate Professor,
John Jay College, New York, and Author of From Social Worker
to Crimefighter: Women in United States Municipal Policing
Brittany Publications, Ltd. - All Rights Reserved