January 18, 2022


Only The Finest Women

Theresa Young, first Black woman to head Philadelphia Police Department’s Public Affairs Unit, dies at 66

Staff Inspector Young received many awards and citations. Here, she stands with former Mayor Wilson Goode (right) and former Police Commissioner Willie Williams.

Theresa Young, 66, of Huntingdon Valley, the to start with Black girl to be commanding officer of the General public Affairs Unit of the Philadelphia Police Office, who rose to team inspector and was praised by fellow officers and many metropolis officials, died Sunday, Nov. 14, of most cancers at Abington Memorial Clinic Dwelling Treatment in Willow Grove.

Named Robin Elizabeth Theresa Younger at her start in Philadelphia, Staff members Inspector Young was by no means termed just about anything but Theresa, Terri, or Toots, her family said. She was tranquil at dwelling, appreciated to browse Jane Austen novels, and wore shirts adorned with roses and a bit of lace beneath her police uniform, her sister Jayne said.

On the position, Employees Inspector Young excelled in the male-dominated Law enforcement Office in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. She fashioned a decorated 33-year job that integrated leadership positions in the Community Affairs Unit and the Inner Affairs Bureau, at the police academy, and as a district lieutenant.

In 1980, she advised the Philadelphia Tribune, “I imagine folks are understanding that a female law enforcement officer can and will make in any area of law enforcement perform.”

Promoted 50 % a dozen moments, she received citations for apprehending a theft suspect and publicizing safety plans for ladies and the elderly. In 2003, she received the Shirley Chisholm Award for services from the Philadelphia Congress of the National Congress of Black Ladies.

She directed the department’s nearby media existence for seven many years and hosted a number of local cable Television exhibits, together with Philadelphia’s Most Wished in 1991. She edited and wrote for the department’s month-to-month magazine, penned community remarks for a number of law enforcement commissioners, represented the office at numerous public gatherings, and trained aspiring officers at the police academy.

Right after marketing her to direct the General public Affairs Unit in 1989, Police Commissioner Willie Williams told the Tribune: “I never ever when imagined to request a person outdoors of the place of work.”

In 1989, soon after Philadelphia was cited by a national uniform maker for having the best uniforms among 45 major-city law enforcement departments, a image of Staff Inspector Young accompanied at minimum just one of the newspaper stories. She was also the general public deal with of the section at criminal offense scenes, news conferences, and visits by Santa Claus to holiday functions at district headquarters.

“We have been all very pleased of her,” said her brother John. “She was the little one of the spouse and children, and we assumed we had to appear out for her. But she ended up looking out for us.”

Born July 15, 1955, Staff members Inspector Young grew up in West Mount Ethereal, graduated from Philadelphia Substantial Faculty for Girls in 1973, and joined the Police Section in 1977 as a patrol officer next a federal mandate to increase the variety of gals on the power.

In excess of the yrs, she took night courses at La Salle College and acquired a bachelor’s diploma in English literature and a master’s degree in expert conversation. She instructed reporters that she had a handful of novels rolling all over in the back again of her mind and that she preferred to compose small stories to give away as Xmas presents.

“Everybody knew who she was in Mount Ethereal, and they would often ask me about her,” mentioned her brother Richard.

Absent from get the job done, Employees Inspector Youthful favored horses and belonged to a driving club. She rescued canines, primarily basset hounds and dachshunds, and relished looking at historical documentaries on general public Tv. Married and divorced 2 times, she lived in Germantown and then relocated to Huntingdon Valley

She was associated with the Maryland-based mostly National Firm of Black Gals in Regulation Enforcement and took great pride in her vocation-very long connections with the general public. “It was usually a pleasure for people to figure out me and connect with me by my name,” she informed the Tribune.

In 1989, Staff Inspector Youthful, then in demand of the department’s monthly journal, Badge and Critical, printed an essay by her sister Jayne, and it finished this way: “This mature, interesting, younger law enforcement officer, I have noticed as a boy or girl, and now I see her as a lady. She is an individual that I love and admire. She is my toddler sister.”

In addition to her siblings, Team Inspector Youthful is survived by other relatives. Two sisters died previously.

Solutions have been non-public.