Georgia Ann Robinson (May 12, 1879 – September 21, 1961) was an American police officer and community worker who was the first African American woman to be appointed a police officer at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). She joined the force as a volunteer in 1916, having previously been active in community affairs, including her local NAACP branch; she was appointed an officer in 1919. She worked on juvenile and homicide cases, including referring women and girls to social agencies. Robinson founded the Sojourner Truth Home, a shelter for women and girls. Her police career ended when she permanently lost her sight after being injured by a prisoner. Robinson continued community activism, including the campaign to desegregate schools and beaches. She was married to Morgan Robinson, and had a daughter, Marian. She died in Los Angeles at the age of 82.
In 1916, when the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was facing a shortage of officers after many enlisted to fight in World War I, Robinson was recruited to leave her community work to join LAPD as a volunteer.
She was appointed to the position of police officer in 1919, the first African-American policewoman at the LAPD, and one of the first in the United States. Robinson’s appointment is regarded as a landmark for a second reason, as “her duty, to refer young black women to social agencies rather than arrest them was one of the first attempts by the LAPD to provide services to the black community and dispel the idea that African Americans were naturally predisposed to crime”.
Robinson worked on juvenile and homicide cases. She went on to found a shelter for women and girls called the Sojourner Truth Home.
“I have no regrets. I didn’t need my eyes any longer. I had seen all there was to see.”
—Georgia Robinson, 1954
Robinson’s police career was cut short in 1928, when a prisoner banged her head into jail bars, causing a head injury so severe that she permanently lost her sight.
She continued community work and activism, supporting the shelter, continuing her involvement in the NAACP, and campaigning to desegregate schools and beaches.