ABOUT PENNY E. HARRINGTON
PENNY HARRINGTON 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 still 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 a male-dominated system, single-handedly fighting discrimination and inequality. In her revealing autobiography, 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 country. She chaired the Advisory Board of the National Center for Women & Policing, an organization she helped found in 1995 as a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She was an internationally recognized consultant on women in the workplace, and counsels a variety of companies and public agencies on issues of discrimination in the workplace. She was Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Association of Women Police Hall of Fame, and named by Harvard Law School as one of the ten most influential women in law. She worked for the California State Bar as a Special Assistant to the Director of Investigations, and served on the Los Angeles Police Commission Gender Equity Taskforce. She also was named to the Webster Commission which was established after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and was co-chair of the Women's Advisory Council to the Los Angeles Police Department.
A note from the Publisher:
When I first met Penny, it was to interview her for my book, "Top Cops: Profiles of Women in Command." I was writing about women that were making significant cracks in the "bulletproof glass ceiling" of law enforcement. Following the interview, Penny said she had always thought of writing her memoirs—a way of showing and inspiring women who wanted to serve in law enforcement that the road may be hard and full of roadblocks, but that it was worth it. In her words, she said me, "I think all the women you've talked to probably had a really rough road to get to the top. But once you get there, at least to captain and above, you have a major impact...As you get higher in the ranks, and you are actually able to change the way policing is done in the community and change the way your department treats its employees, that's when you get the real satisfaction in knowing you have made a difference...." And, indeed, Penny made a difference. Not only for women in law enforcement, but for any woman who strives to reach through the glass ceiling in professions where the doors to top management were locked tight. Following our interview, Penny asked if my company would like to work with her on her autobiography and publish it. I said "yes" - and we were on our way to the creation of "Triumph of Spirit."
Sadly, Penny passed away on September 15, 2021 at the age of 79. When I had asked Penny so many years ago if she would travel this road again, she emphatically answered "I would definitely..." Penny's legacy of commitment to public service, justice, and equality will stand as a beacon of light to any woman or man who chooses a career in law enforcement.
"Penny illustrates how one woman's spirit can triumph over the toughest of 'ole' boys clubs." Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
"Beneficial for courses such as Women in the Criminal Justice System and Introduction to Women's Studies." 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
"Triumph of Spirit," Penny's life story, will remain in print for years to come and guaranteed new books are available exclusively from Brittany Publications, Ltd. For information on reprints, electronic/digital, or screen rights to her story, please contact email@example.com.