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PENNSYLVANIA v. FLAHERTY

February 17, 1982

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Peter F. FLAHERTY, etc. et al., Defendants, and Fraternal Order of Police, Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, Intervening Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

This civil rights suit was initially brought by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, alleging discrimination against blacks and women in the hiring practices of the police force of the City of Pittsburgh. The case was heard by this court, and upon a finding of impermissible discrimination, this court ordered remedial hiring procedures be imposed in its opinion at 404 F. Supp. 1022 (W.D.Pa.1975). See also 477 F. Supp. 1263 (1979).

This aspect of the suit involves the specific claims of seven individual women who were hired prior to the remedial action imposed by this court. They now claim that although the women currently being hired have achieved the status of Police Officer, they continue to be classified as Policewomen and continue to be excluded from training programs and promotions.

 Having heard the evidence in a non-jury proceeding before this court, we now make the following findings of fact:

 1. Captain Therese Rocco was first hired in 1948 as a "Policewoman" and promoted to the rank of "Policewoman-Captain" in 1960. Since 1960, Captain Rocco has been assigned to and commanded the Missing Persons Section of the Investigations Branch of the Pittsburgh Police Department.

 2. Officer Segernia Saunders was first hired as a Matron in 1956 and was hired as a Policewoman in 1960 after passing a competitive exam for that position. Officer Saunders has been permanently assigned to the Missing Persons Section.

 3. Officer Marge Bedore was hired as a Policewoman in 1960 after passing the competitive exam. Officer Bedore was assigned to the Missing Persons Section prior to her transfer in 1979 to the Detective Desk in the Investigations Branch, a position also held by a male graded detective.

 4. Officer Eileen Quinn was hired as a Policewoman in 1965 after passing the competitive exam and has always been assigned to the Missing Persons Station.

 5. Officer Ellen Blacksmith was hired as a Policewoman in 1966 after passing the competitive exam and has always been assigned to the Missing Persons Section.

 6. Officer Gladys Smith was hired as a Matron in 1954. In 1968, she became a Policewoman upon the elimination of the position of Matron. Since that time, Officer Smith has been assigned to the Missing Persons Section.

 7. In 1966, Officers Saunders, Bedore, Quinn and Blacksmith attended the course of training administered by the Police Academy, but were prohibited from participation in Firearms Training. At the completion of their training each of these officers received a Diploma, certifying her completion of the "prescribed course for policemen".

 8. In addition to their Police Academy Training, these four officers have participated in and completed a number of other courses and seminars in such areas as sex crimes, drug abuse and fingerprinting.

 9. From 1965 to 1969, Eugene L. Coon was Assistant Superintendent of Police in charge of the Detective Branch, now known as the Investigations Branch, which included homicide, burglary, narcotics, vice, robbery, auto, youth and sex, and missing persons sections. During the period of his command, Mr. Coon assigned policewomen in the Missing Persons Section to perform duties in other sections of the Detective Branch. He also conducted in-service training for all members of the Branch, including Policewomen in the Missing Persons Section.

 10. During the course of her employment, each of these women, at various times, has been assigned to perform work for other sections in the Investigations Branch. These other assignments often involved situations in which a female was necessary but were not limited to such occasions. The other assignments have included acting as a decoy in rape and extortion investigations, searching female prisons, crowd control during civil disorders, numbers (vice) investigations and street-car patrol. In conjunction with their participation in such assignments, there have been occasions when these female officers have provided information upon which search warrants were issued, have executed search warrants, have arrested and assisted in the arrest of suspects, have testified before the grand jury and have testified in court in criminal proceedings. In addition, these female officers have conducted background investigations, located witnesses and performed other duties at the request and assignment of other sections within the Investigations Branch.

 11. These women participated in the above described assignments on a regular basis until 1975, at which time the City of Pittsburgh began to hire women as Police Officers. These post-1975 female Police Officers now perform many of the ...


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