Month 5: Officer Shirley Harlan
The first woman on the Redlands Police force
By Toni Momberger
Shirley Harlan joined the Redlands Police Department as a uniformed officer in 1956. Until then, it was an all-male force. She made her own uniform and carried her gun in her purse.
She was in her mid-20s and had come to Redlands from Cleveland, where she was raised and educated, with degrees in sociology and physical education from Western Reserve University (now called Case Western Reserve University)
Harlan was a Redlands Police officer for about five years, assigned to juveniles, women who needed assistance and street patrol.
She subsequently took a job in probation with San Bernardino County, and retired in 1989.