Va. officer was 'pioneer in policing'
Rosa Smith was partnered with the city's first female police officer for her entire career
By Arielle Retting
Smith was hired in April 1944 and worked in the detective department until her retirement in August 1963. At the time she was hired, there were fewer than 200 women across the country working as police officers, Roanoke police said.
Family members say Smith often told stories of her days as an officer, patrolling downtown Roanoke and Highland Park. Her great-nephew recalled when Smith led an investigation and arrested a man that had attacked several women and killed a teenage girl in southwest Roanoke in 1947.
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