Women officers in Youngstown Police Department witness big changes over 30 years

By Katie Seminara

YOUNGSTOWN — Anita Davis wanted to be a translator. So, she studied Russian at Youngstown State University.

Delphine Baldwin-Casey dreamed of becoming a nurse. So, she took a job at St. Elizabeth’s Health Center.

Neither woman’s original career aspiration came true. Instead each has proudly worn blue for 30 years.

When they joined the Youngstown Police Department in 1978, Detective Sgts. Davis and Baldwin-Casey were two of the first women police officers to have patrol duties.

Davis was 25 years old and Baldwin-Casey was 27 when they started riding in cruisers and were sworn in with Wanda Cordero, Susan Colucci and Sharman Simon.

“For me it was just a fluke,” Davis said of her law enforcement career.

“It was no where in my mind set to be a police officer,” she said admitting that she was naive to what police work entailed.

Baldwin-Casey, too, was hesitant about signing up for law enforcement.

“Since our bunch [of women] was the first to do patrol work, we met with various resistance,” Davis said.

On a daily basis the women had to overcome the struggles of being in a “male chauvinistic work place,” she said. The two had to tolerate the sexism and comments, like “I don’t want to work with a woman.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.