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Josephine Roche

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Courtesy Rocky Mountain News Photo Collection
Josephine Roche, Denver’s first policewoman

Colorado's first policewoman to walk a beat was a social worker. Josephine Roche earned an MSW in 1910 with her thesis “Economic Conditions in Relation to the Delinquency of Girls.” Two years later on the Denver police force, Roche tried to strictly enforce the law in the city's dance halls – much to the displeasure of patrons. The Fire and Police board removed her from that job.

She then she inherited stock and gained control of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company. With this new authority, Roche set out to improve miners’ working conditions. They eventually got an unheard-of raise to $7 a day. Her social consciousness was the fire in her bid for Colorado governor in 1934. And though Roche lost the primary, she opened a few eyes to the idea of a woman as chief executive. As one newspaper in Julesburg put it at the time: "A wide-awake woman is more valuable than a drowsy man.”

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.