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Frances Howard

Photo of Frances Howard
Categories: 2009 Alumnae, Law Enforcement


Frances Howard worked for the Department of Public Safety as Clerk-Dispatcher in 1967. She was then given a special commission to administer drivers tests because no commissioned trooper was available. Problem was, she was still being paid a clerk’s salary. In 1969, Alaska ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, and friends encouraged Frances to apply for a position as an Alaska State Trooper. She was accepted and became the first female Alaska State Trooper and the first unrestricted female state officer in the United States. The newspapers reported the event, adding that the largest challenge for the state was coming up with a proper uniform for her.

Equality was not entirely won with her appointment and consequent pay raise. When she married a fellow trooper, John Elmore, she was forced to resign because of stringent nepotism rules in the department.