Rae Marie Odoms

Rae Marie Odoms

Rae Marie Warner was something of an oddity back in 1970: a black female Philadelphia police officer.

In fact, there is every indication that Rae was the first African-American woman hired as a Philadelphia cop.

The Police Department put her in the Juvenile Aid Division, as it did with all female police officers in those days. It didn't want them out on patrol.

That policy has long been changed, and women today patrol the city streets along with the men. Rae Warner might have been one of the pioneers who helped bring about the change.

After her stint in Juvenile Aid, Rae was transferred to the Civil Affairs Unit, where her talents as a calming influence and negotiator stood her in good stead. She spent 20 years on the police force.

Rae Marie Odoms, as she became after marrying Bernard Odoms II, died March 26. She was 78 and lived in Germantown, Philly.com reports.