SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - WTOC is paying tribute to a trailblazer. Not just for Savannah, but all women.
Allonia Haisten Ginn was a woman of many firsts. She was the first female officer at the Savannah Police Department.
Ginn was also the first woman in America to be named policeman of the year.
She passed away last Tuesday at the age of 94.
Her son Mickey Sands, also a former law enforcement officer, talks about the kind of impact she had on his life and the community.
“My mama was a unique woman, she was a very strong woman. She worked for the Savannah Police Department for about 26 years. She had several jobs, they included dispatchers, she was a female jailer, she worked in the records department. Then became a certified officer, worked on patrol. From there she went up stairs, they called it to be a detective department. She was the first woman to go up stairs at the Savannah Police Department," said Sands.
“She could out drive and out shoot most of us. She was a strong strong woman," he continued.
“She specialized in crime against persons, which was primarily rape cases, and she was very good at her job.”
“I have seen some of her cases that was hard to even imagine what she had just come from. Just have actually seen pictures she had thrown down and it was hard to believe she could even function after that. Just terrible things people do to one another but she handled it well, she was able to put that aside and just be herself when she got home. Which is a unique talent among police," Sands continued.
“I just want them to remember Allonia Hastin Ginn as one of the strongest women I have ever known and most people have ever known and she was absolutely a credit to her gender and a champion of women.”
Thank you Allonia for all that you’ve done for this community.
At her funeral service, Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher had this to say about her, “Well I would say that she inspired a lot of people at the, City of Savannah Police Department as it was called when she was there. I know she inspired me and a lot of people at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. I worked right down the street from the City police department at the old jail on Habersham Street. And she always had nothing but kind words and a smile on her face.”