Gertrude Schimmel, a trailblazing NYPD cop who became its first woman sergeant and opened the door for generations of others, died Monday.
When I saw this obit yesterday in the Daily News, I read it thoroughly because I didn’t know about this amazing woman. And then I clipped it for posting here but forgot my excuse for clipping it: Ms. Schimmel, along with another lady cop, had to sue NYPD to receive promotions.
Here’s the lawsuit excerpt from this fascinating story about a really remarkable woman. You’ll want to read the whole thing:
…[B]y 1961, Gertrude Schimmel was ready for more — and tired of being told she and other women couldn’t take the promotional civil service exams that brought more responsibility and more money.
By law, only men could become superior officers — until Schimmel and another pioneering woman, Felicia Shpritzer, sued the NYPD.
After three years and a courtroom battle that went all the way to the New York State Court of Appeals, Schimmel and Shpritzer won.
In 1965 Schimmel became the department’s first female sergeant. Two years later she was a lieutenant and by 1971 a captain.
UPDATE 5/14/2015. I didn’t read the New York Times until after I saw the Daily News report, above. But here’s the NYT’s fuller obit about this strong lady:
Ms. Schimmel joined the department in 1940, decades before women were allowed to go on patrol, and helped prepare a lawsuit in the 1960s to be able to take the promotional exam for sergeant.