WHEN PHOTOGRAPHS COME TO LIFE... (PBA MAGAZINE AUTUMN 2005)

The March (Women’s History Month) page of the 2005 PBA wall calendar has gotten plenty of attention from some of the police officers pictured there. In this space in the last issue of The PBA Magazine, we heard from Annette Goldstein, who served from 1951 to 1972, and we published a photo of her taken recently. Now we’ve heard from the “unidentified policewoman” in another of the three photos that adorned that calendar page. She’s Maria Bertini-Guerin, who retired in 2000, and she wants to set the record straight about a couple of things.

The calendar-page photo caption said the picture “appears to have been taken shortly before women became full-fledged police officers.” That is incorrect by a month or so, Ms. Bertini points out in an e-mail:

“I remember my first days on the job. I got hired as a policewoman in 1973. It was the largest class of women (50) coming off the Policewoman’s List. During our time in the Police Academy the city changed our status to ‘Police Officer,’ doing away with the title and list of ‘Policewoman.’ What a shock to the rank and file, the PBA, the city at large, not to mention to us women police officers.

 “It became apparent real quick that our brothers in blue didn’t want us out there.

 “Turning out one day in the Midtown North house, I put my raincoat down to go get a soda. When I returned, my slicker was covered in urine!!! Ah, those were the days.

“We all suffered in some manner, but eventually everyone got used to us.

“During those years I worked with some great cops and made life-long friends along the way. I will always look back at my police career with fondness and with great appreciation of all the hard work we put in to solve a case and of all the people we truly helped.”

Ms. Bertini-Guerin retired in September 2000 after 27 years, the last 16 as a detective 2nd grade working out of Manhattan North Homicide. “It was a great time,” she says, “and I wouldn’t have traded a minute of it.

“Since my retirement I spend my time doing some fund raising for my old grammar school in The Bronx. When I’m not relaxing on some beach, that is.”

Now we wonder if we’re going to hear from the remaining policewoman pictured on that calendar page — Matron Amelia L. Boyle, who was on the job only 100 years ago or so.
MARIA BERTINI
1973
PBA MAGAZINE 2005
Maria Bertini-Guerin, as she looked in June 1997 at her wedding to retired firefighter James Guerin, whom she had dated in 1964 and renewed acquaintance with eight years ago. “And they say cops and firefighters don’t get along,” she remarks.
PBA MAGAZINE 2005