International association of  women police

From 1915 to Now

Formed initially as the International Association of Policewomen in 1915 by Los Angeles, California, Policewoman Alice Stebbins Wells, in 1956 under the name of International Association of Women Police, IAWP was moved forward by President Lois Higgins Grote. IAWP members voted that the organization represent sworn officers offering membership to those with full police authority. The IAWP served as a clearing house for information, adopted a code of ethics, and was a prelude to professional status, vital to policewomen. Higgins was president for eight years and Executive Director for twelve, during her tenure vigorously addressing issues of career opportunities, recognition for female officers within law enforcement, promotion and diversified assignments within departments. In speeches, Higgins called the feminine arm of the law the one that "rocks the cradle, and sometimes shoots a wicked .38." The IAWP reported 320 members, 295 from the U.S., three from Canada, and twenty-two from all other countries.* The organization has now grown to include members from 73 countries, hold​​s annual training conferences in a different worldwide location each year, and embraces diversity and inclusion, continuing the traditions established by the founders.

*Lois Lundell Higgins paper presented at the 1st Biennial International Association of Women Police Conference September 30 - October 2, 1958, Lafayette, Indiana." (Read more in the Our History section of the 100 Year brochure.)

IAWP Foundation

The purposes of the IAWP Foundation shall be: 

•To determine and carry out the charitable and educational agenda of the management and membership of the IAWP.

•To educate and enlighten the public about women in law enforcement or in police-related activities throughout the world. 

•To support the charitable and educational needs and activities of the various law enforcement chapters, members, and membership of the IAWP in all locations. (including the IAWP "Adopt an Officer Program")

•To provide or conduct training conferences, programs and educational events and workshops relating to women police worldwide. 

•To provide support directly and indirectly to law enforcement functions and activities where charitable or e
ducational need is demonstrated.

•To assist IAWP members to attend training or other educational events relating to women in law enforcement. (including the IAWP International Scholarship Program)

•To identify, recognize and reward performance, distinction, and achievement among women in law enforcement. (including the Heritage and Officer of the Year Awards)

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Presidents of the International Association of Women Police

Alice Stebbins Wells, Founder and 1st President (1915)

Mina C. Van Winkle (1919-1932) President, Incorporating Officer and chief financial contributor of the International Association of Policewomen (The organization later became the International Association of Police Women; then in 1969, became the International Association of Women Police.)
1933-1955 The organization was inactive due to the depression

Lois Lundell Higgins-Grote (1956-1964) President and Incorporating Officer

Elizabeth Frances Mumford (1964-1966) President and Incorporating Officer

Mary Rita Ostrander (1966-1970) President and Incorporating Officer

Lois Becket (1970-1972) President and Incorporating Officer

Felicia Shpritzer (1972-1976) President and Incorporating Officer

Rosie Mason (1976-1980) President and Incorporating Officer

Carolen Bailey (1980-1982)

Mary Wamsley (1982-1984)

Carol Ann Halliday (1984-1988)

Kathy Burke (1988-1991)

Gale Buckner (1991-1994)

Linda Cherry (1994-1996)

Connie Maki (1996-1998)

Laura Goodman-Brown (1998-2000)

Terrie S. Swann (2000-2007)

Amy Ramsay (2007-2009)

Jane Townsley (2009-2015)

Margaret D. Shorter (2015-2018)

Deborah Friedl (2018-present)

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Checks and money orders to: IAWP Treasurer, PO Box 111412 Anchorage, AK 99511-1412  USA
For assistance, email: (for Julie-Dee Sharkey)

Copyrighted 2018 International Association of Women Police.

IAWP is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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