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Irish Tulloch, who was among first set of women cops, is dead

Thursday, June 12, 2014    

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IRISH Tulloch, the woman who in the 1940s was among the first set of woman to be enlisted in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was yesterday hailed by women's advocacy groups and female officers as a trailblazer who encouraged females across the island to dream.

"She was a major pioneer who supported gender equality in the JCF and she would have opened the door for other females in the JCF," said Leith Dunn, head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Mona Unit, UWI.

Dunn yesterday joined several noted women who paid tribute to Tulloch following news from the Police High Command that the stalwart had passed away at the age of 94.

"We want to express condolences to the JCF on her passing," said Dunn.

Several female officers in the JCF also hailed Tulloch as a trailblazer.

"To be the first carries an honour, it also carries a certain obligation. You have to prove that you could do it so that the door would remain open for others to follow," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant.

"Tulloch and other females did a fantastic job of creating that space and confidence that women could do this job and should be fitted in," said Grant. "They did a fantastic job, there can be no doubt about it," she added.

"She was a person who made significant contribution towards nation-building and her work in the JCF was something that motivated females in the force today," said Senior Superintendent of Police Yvonne Martin-Daley, who is in charge of the St Ann Police Division

Senior Superintendent Dezeita Taylor, who heads the St Elizabeth Division, shared similar sentiments.

"She was definitely a trendsetter, a trailblazer and certainly her work did not only help to motivate women but it also encouraged them to dream big, to realise that with hard work and dedication it was possible for women to achieve, especially in an environment which was once considered male-dominated," said Taylor.

According to the Police High Command, on January 1, 1943, Iris Tulloch made history when she, Florence Nelson and Sylvia Myers became the first women to join the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

In 1953, she attained the rank of corporal and five years later she was promoted to sergeant. In 1960, she was put in charge of female officers and made inspector. Assistant and deputy superintendent positions followed in 1967 and 1970, respectively, and her career was capped with the rank of superintendent in 1976.

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