Click on the Alumnae’s name for a further details.

S. Anne Newell

Photo of S. Anne Newell
1946 Birthday: 1946
Biography

Anne Newell spent 23 years as an Anchorage police officer and detective. At 27 she was the first female police officer at the Anchorage Police Department with powers of arrest.

When she arrived in September 1973 she applied to APD with an associate degree in Science in Law Enforcement and with some police experience. Newell had no idea how difficult the job would be and how much time would pass before she would be as an employed APD officer. At the end of the first interview, she said: “The response was that ‘we do not employ women to be police officers.” Newell filed her lawsuit with the State Human Rights Commission against APD and the City of Anchorage.

She sued to provide women the opportunity to be police officers at APD so they could show they could do the job. The suit took more than two years to settle; in the interim Newell became a volunteer auxiliary police officer, working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. At the same time she was working full time at East High school, and with her husband raised six children.

Her suit was settled in November, 1975, so she was able to attend a Police Academy and become a sworn officer.  While on the police force she endured the rude, vulgar and shortsighted behavior from some of her male counterparts. Her success as a police officer made it easier for other women to become sworn officers.

In 1976 she started as a patrol officer and four years later was transferred to APD’s Public Relations Section, where she did the traffic report, “Air Watch,” with KIMO television and Wilber’s Aircraft. In 1983, she went to Detectives and Burglary Section and subsequently moved into the new statewide Exploitation/Crimes Against Children Unit, where she worked closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She devoted 12 years to the Crimes Against Children Unit until she retired after 20+ years of service. She received the Alaska Women in Police award of Achievement in 1996, for successfully arresting sex offenders who were prosecuted and imprisoned.

Newell was born in California, was raised in many states and lived with relatives, friends of her mother’s, and in foster homes – all of which provided her with empathy for children in abusive homes. A significant influence about family life was Newell’s Sicilian mother-in-law, Clementine Audino, who lived with Ann, her husband and her seven children for many summers while Newell and her husband worked. Many of their children were foster children and were the beneficiaries of Audino’s consistent care and affection.

Newell also served as a lobbyist for the Anchorage Peace Officers Association, and therefore, traveled to Juneau and Washington, D.C., discussing proposed legislation. After Newell retired, she was a candidate in 1996 for the Alaska House of Representatives, where she won her primary election, but lost in the general.
During her career she volunteered for political campaigns as well as for KAKM/KSKA, public television and radio stations. In 1992 she joined Zonta International, becoming a volunteer tutor/teacher at the Anchorage Literacy Project. She continues there to this day as a board member and an active volunteer tutor. She creates a fun environment for her literacy students, where laughter is often heard from her classroom.

Newell has worked at many jobs but being a police officer was the most rewarding. However, she was pleased to have a chapter she wrote be accepted for publication in the 4th volume of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. She has also been a storyteller with the Storytellers’ Guild of Anchorage.

Induction ceremony acceptance speech https://youtu.be/fZm2zeV1OeE

Awards

  • 1994 Municipal Employee of the Year nomination, because of her efforts to arrest and prosecute sex offenders. Newell was nominated by citizens who went through Standing Together Against Rape counseling.
  • 1996 Alaska Women in Police award of Achievement for successfully arresting sex offenders who were prosecuted and imprisoned.
  • 2010 Golden Heart Volunteer Service Award, Outstanding Community Service
  • Volunteerism in Alaska
  • KAKM/ KSKA, 25years
  • Political Campaigns
  • Kindergarten Classroom w/ Kelly Carpenter nine years
  • HOBY Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, 1984-1994
  • Z-Club (Zonta), 1992-1995
  • Basically Bach Board, three years
  • Anchorage Literacy Project 1993-2006, 2009-2013 tutor/teacher, board
  • Anchorage Conflict Resolution Board, three years
  • Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District Board and citizen member 2003-2005

Affiliations:

  • Alaska Peace Officer Assn. Life member
  • Toastmistress International (International Training in Communications) Life member
  • Bartlett Democratic Club member many years
  • Alaska Women’s Political Caucus member many years
  • Zonta International Club of Anchorage 20 years
  • Anchorage Genealogical Society
  • Another first: First female officer to retire from APD with 20+ years of service.
Notes

Anne Newell spent 23 years as an Anchorage police officer and detective. At 27 she was the first female police officer at the Anchorage Police Department with powers of arrest.

When she arrived in September 1973 she applied to APD with an associate degree in Science in Law Enforcement and with some police experience. Newell had no idea how difficult the job would be and how much time would pass before she would be as an employed APD officer. At the end of the first interview, she said: “The response was that ‘we do not employ women to be police officers.” Newell filed her lawsuit with the State Human Rights Commission against APD and the City of Anchorage.

She sued to provide women the opportunity to be police officers at APD so they could show they could do the job. The suit took more than two years to settle; in the interim Newell became a volunteer auxiliary police officer, working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. At the same time she was working full time at East High school, and with her husband raised six children.

Her suit was settled in November, 1975, so she was able to attend a Police Academy and become a sworn officer.  While on the police force she endured the rude, vulgar and shortsighted behavior from some of her male counterparts. Her success as a police officer made it easier for other women to become sworn officers.

She received the Alaska Women in Police award of Achievement in 1996, for successfully arresting sex offenders who were prosecuted and imprisoned. She retired after 23 years with the Anchorage Police Department.

Induction ceremony acceptance speech https://youtu.be/fZm2zeV1OeE