I remember when May Walker became the first Black female officer in the Houston Police Department. It was back in 1975 and HPD still had a negative shoot first and ask questions later reputation in our community.
As May patrolled our neighborhoods and became a well known and comforting presence as a African-American officer in the Houston Police Department, she quickly earned a nickname among myself and the kids in our South Park neighborhood. We called her Christie Love, after the short lived ABC-TV show about ironically, the first female African-American officer to join a big city police force. The other irony was that the late Teresa Graves, who played Christie Love was from Houston as well.
For 24 years as a HPD officer May not only won over people in our community, she fought the entrenched racism and good-ole-boy culture within HPD as well. She opened doors that African-American youth in my neighborhood and beyond would follow. The current multi-ethnic professional force that Houston enjoys is largely because of her efforts. She also earned the respect and admiration of her law enforement peers.
But she was just getting started in terms of making more history. In November 2004 she ran for Harris County Precinct 7 Constable and won with 82% of the vote. When she was sworn in on January 2, 2005 she became the first female constable in Harris County history.
In addition to Constable Walker's long and distinguished law enforcement career, she's an author and is active in a long list of organizations in the Houston area.
Congratulations to Constable Walker and may 'Christie Love' continue to blaze trails for my generation and others to follow.