Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Laney College Baseball held a naming ceremony April 26 for its stadium, now called the Tom Pearse Diamond. The name change was approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its April 23 meeting. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Laney names baseball stadium, FabLab to relocate and more at 4/23 meeting for PCCD trustees
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer • May 15, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
The search for a permanent president of the College of Alameda is down to three candidates. William “Terry” Brown (left), Melanie Dixon (middle), and Rebecca “Becky” Opsata will respond to community questions at public forums on Thursday. (Photo courtesy: PCCD)
Finalists for CoA President unveiled
Community questions accepted until midnight tonight
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • May 13, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    Untold history spotlights ‘sleuths in skirts’

    ‘Women in Blue’ tells stories of sixteen female trailblazers in field of law enforcement

    Book‘Women in Blue’ by Cheryl Mullenbach is a very timely book. Issues surrounding law enforcement have received increased media attention in recent years, and as the country may be electing its first woman to the highest profession in law enforcement — president and commander-in-chief — ‘Women in Blue’ is an important read.


    In the beginning, there was Frances Willard. Willard was the president of the WCTV, the Women’s Temperance Union, a group that worked for the elimination of the consumption of alcohol. It was through the work of this group of people that many cities hired their first ‘jail matrons.’ 
    The real beginnings of female policing started with these matrons. In 1888, the WCTV was able to convince the city of Denver, Colorado to hire its first jail matron: Sadie Likens. 
    The story of Aletha Gilbert of the Los Angeles Police Department is a good example of the duties a policewoman performed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many of these early police matrons did not have the power of arrest and usually had to observe a crime then call a male officer for assistance. 
    This position expanded throughout the country and the term policewoman soon evolved. According to Mullenbach, by the early 1900’s, pressure towards city leaders to be fair to women in law enforcement led to their title as policewomen. 
    Their duties were segregated, and there was constant struggle to gain recognition and advancement up the ranks. This was all despite jails not being segregated by gender as they are today. 
    Ultimately, in the 1970’s, the title police officer came to apply to all officers regardless of gender.


    Christina Pino, the subject of another profile in Women in Blue, sticks out as a very interesting subject. 
    Pino was originally from Naples, Italy and grew up and played around such artifacts as the ruins of Pompeii and 1700’s architecture. 
    Pino knew early in her life that she wanted to study forensics. In Italy, however, that science required more than a sociology and criminology degree. It required hard science like biology. 
    Then, in 2008, she entered the Forensic Science Academy located in Industry, California. She also began two internships with the Los Angeles County Coroner and the Beverly Hills Forensic Unit. 
    She started her career only five months after arriving in Los Angeles from Italy. “I was nervous, disoriented, and very clumsy,” she said. 
    Yet today, in Torrence, Calif., Pino works in a $1.5 million laboratory — built with money seized from drug dealers — to help analyze evidence. She described her husband, Armando Poeta, as “always telling me that one day I would succeed.” 
    Pino sums up her work as a forensic specialist this way: “You see, but you do not observe,” a quote from a story by Arthur Conan Doyle entitled, “A Scandal in Bohemia”.


    The best element of this book is the fact that the author obviously interviewed each person profiled — and for the profiled women that she didn’t interview, Mullenbach’s background research makes it appear to the reader that she did her homework. 
    The writing style of Cheryl Mullenbach is easy to follow and could have easily become too analytical, yet she gives the reader a simple, friendly style that reads nicely though the subject matter even though the stories could be considered a little bit harsh to the average reader. Even though the subjects are, a male reader can relate to the stories. 
    The back cover of this book also states that the reader does not have to be interested in a career in law enforcement to appreciate Mullenbach’s writing. I would agree wholeheartedly.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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