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Journal of Criminal Justice






Purpose: Explore the memory of the first collegiate program in the USA for police training, the Police School founded in 1930 at San José State University, to learn about the women students and faculty who were there, why they have been forgotten, and why we should remember them. Methods: Drawing on theory developed by historians who study the history of memory, expand the memory of the Police School to include women, using archival materials, particularly correspondence and newspapers, at the King Library, San José State University, and Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Results: Our memory of the San José Police School was constructed around August Vollmer and his work at the Berkeley Police Department by former Berkeley police officers—the V-men. Although this narrative excludes women, there were women, both students and faculty, that had an immediate impact on women in policing. Conclusions: Origin stories built around ‘firsts’ are important because they define what it means to be a criminologist. But these origin stories need to include the women in our past, such as Noemi Baiza, the first Latina in the first collegiate program for police training in the USA.


History of criminology, Memory, Origin stories, Policewomen, Women in policing

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Justice Studies