First Black Policewoman in Pittsburgh Died

Anyone of you know who Gwen Elliot is? For the benefit of those who don’t know who she is, Ms. Elliot was the very first black police woman to work as a police commander in Pittsburgh. Some of her the services she rendered were:

  • Night-watch commander overseeing operations;
  • Commander in charge of missing persons and family violence; and
  • Assistant to the mayor for youth policy.

She started being a commander 16 years ago and retired in 2002. She had brain cancer and she continuously battled it until she died in her home just recently.

According to Charles Moffatt, the Allegheny County Police Superintendent, the woman is remembered as one who is “very dedicated to the community.” Moffat was one among those who knew Elliot very well and he said, “She was a good, big-hearted person who believed fervently in her ideals and morals.”

“Gwen was a true trailblazer. She had a heart of gold”, Nate Harper, the Pittsburgh police chief, said a couple of days ago.

Elliot also is the one who started the “Gwen Girls” on her 30th year in the police service. Elliot is not only working as a police officer but she is also of service to young girls and women in the city who need proper education who are aged 18 years and younger. Women with families are also undergoing training as well as services that can support themselves and their children in terms of abuse and poverty and that is part of ‘Gwen Girls’.

Lynn Knezevich, the Executive Director of Gwen’s Girls, prepared a simple talk to the staff about Elliott’s death.

Elliot’s family also asked that all donations should be made to Gwen’s Girls Inc., at 7230 McPherson Blvd., Lexington Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. A tribute for Elliot will be shown on Wednesday at the Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Homewood between 2 to 9 p.m. And her funeral will be on Thursday, at 11pm.

It is just nice to know that her family supports what Ms. Elliot has started.

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