Friday, June 07, 2002

Obituary: Micki N. White, 53, pathfinder for policewomen

Served in three area departments

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Micki N. White, the first woman to serve on the Florence and Fort Wright police departments, died Sunday at St. Luke Hospital West in Florence after a long illness.

        The Burlington resident was 53.

        Ms. White was the first intern to be hired by the Florence Police Department, in 1975 when she was working on a bachelor's degree in law enforcement at Eastern Kentucky University.

        After her December 1975 graduation, she was hired by the Fort Wright Police Department. Four years later she became a patrolwoman for the Kenton County Police Department.

        A graduate of Boone County High School, Ms. White worked as a model and competed in beauty contests during her teen years. She was a finalist in the Miss Philadelphia contest, she and was named Miss Northern Kentucky.

        Her acceptance into law enforcement came slowly.

        “I didn't want to choose an occupation that was traditionally for women,” she said in a 1974 interview.

        But when she began in Florence, she wasn't permitted to ride in a patrol car with married officers and was barred from using the firing range.

        Before that, supervisors refused to issue her a badge when she worked as a security guard at a racetrack, though the male guards all had them.

        “Why should the men on the force wear badges and not me?” she asked.

        Ms. White was born in Oklahoma City and spent time in Atlanta and Philadelphia before moving to Northern Kentucky.

        Survivors include: a son, Mitchell White of Ashland, Ky,; a daughter, Meredith Ashlie White of Fort Mitchell; a sister, Donna White of Glenmont, N.Y.; and a brother, Steve White of Burlington.

        Service is 10 a.m. today at Linnemann Funeral Home, 1940 Burlington Pike in Burlington.


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