Police Department Women's Division/Night Patrol Reports, 1934-1939

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). City Clerk
Police Department Women's Division/Night Patrol Reports
1934-1939 (inclusive)
.4 cubic foot, (1 box)
Collection Number
Monthly reports on the activities of the Seattle Police Department's Women's Division Night Patrol, 1934-1939.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The City's first charter established the Marshall as the local peace officer. In 1883 the position of Chief of Police was established. The City Charter of 1890 created the Board of Police Commissioners, which administered the Department and appointed officers. Following allegations of corruption, the Commission was abolished by the new Charter of 1896. In 1962, the Department assumed authority for policing the harborfront, formerly a function of the Harbor Department.

Seattle's first police matron, Emma Taylor, was appointed in 1893 after the passage of a Washington law requiring cities with a population of more than 10,000 to hire a police matron. The matron would deal with all women and girls in police custody. In 1915, the position of Woman Superintendent was created in the Protective Division of the Police Department.

In 1933, a Women's Division was created in the Police Department; it was responsible for investigating "criminal exploitation of women and children" and assisting in the prosecution of sex offenses. To this end, female officers investigated public establishments including hotels, restaurants, dance halls, and skating rinks. The Division was also responsible for assisting lost or runaway children and delinquent minors. A female Superintendent headed the Women's Division, and all female officers and matrons were transferred to the new division. A 1934 ordinance expanded the duties of the Division; women officers were to "investigate...complaints of neighborhood disagreements" and patrol "hotels, rooming houses, public dance halls, restaurants, cabarets, skating rinks, theatres, pool halls, places where alcoholic beverages are dispensed" and other public establishments.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Brief monthly reports, 1934-1939, regarding regular visits by women officers to dance halls, cabarets, pool halls, theaters, comfort stations, skating rinks, and beverage dispensaries. These Night Patrol Reports include information on numbers of intoxicated persons, curfew violations, "risque/vulgar" performances, and disorderly conduct.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Seattle Police Department Women's Division/Night Patrol Reports, Record Series 1802-C4. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Reports are arranged chronologically by month and year.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Seattle Police Department Women's Division/Night Patrol Reports 1934-1939

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Bars (Drinking establishments)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Curfew--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Disorderly conduct--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Drunkenness (Criminal law)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Motion picture theaters--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Police patrol--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Policewomen--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Skating rinks--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Theaters--Washington (State)--Seattle

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--Moral conditions
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Social life and customs

Form or Genre Terms

  • Monthly reports

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Seattle (Wash.). Police Dept. Women's Division (creator)