High Plains Morning had a fun guest today. Thanks to Sharon Baker, committee member at the 10th Annual Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon and Women’s Equality Day Celebration, for stopping by and sharing information about the event and Louise's legacy. This year's luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, August 23, in the Great Hall at Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St. in Amarillo.
The event will honor women who are Texas licensed peace officers—past and present--in the Texas Panhandle. The event is held annually near the end of August to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.
Tickets must be purchased before 5pm on Friday, August 16th. Here's the link! To hear our full interview, click the link below.
MORE ABOUT THE LUNCHEON: Featured speaker will be Sergeant Carla Burr, sergeant in the Crime Prevention Unit and Public Information Officer for the Amarillo Police Department, on the topic “Earning Her Badge.” Born and raised in Liberal, Kansas, she attended West Texas A&M University, graduating with a BA in mass communications. She will share her story of starting with the Amarillo Police Department in 1993 as a civilian police dispatcher, attending the Amarillo Police Academy in 1996 as the only woman out of 25 and moving through the ranks to her current position.
Burr’s career experience has included serving as a liaison officer with the Amarillo High School cluster, as a member and later team commander of the Hostage Negotiator Team, on the detectives, robbery/domestic violence squad and then in the training and personnel division, where she served as one of two sergeants over the police academy. In March 2018 she moved to her current position and recently earned her Certified Crime Prevention Specialist certification.
Although a number of women now hold Texas licensed peace officer positions in the Panhandle, it wasn’t so in earlier years. Lisa Dawson, who began her career in 1983, became Potter County’s first female lieutenant in 2010 and first female captain in 2013. She retired after 35 years of service.
Carmella Jones of Claude served as sheriff of Armstrong County in the 1990s, and Fleta Barnett is the sheriff there now. Barnett saved the life of the Armstrong County sheriff when she was a deputy in the department and a prisoner attacked the male sheriff. Maribel Tiarzon has served as Chief of Police in the town of Cactus, in Moore County.
The committee is preparing a list of women who have served or are serving as Texas licensed peace officers, but is seeking the names of those it may not know about. Anyone wishing to suggest the name of a woman licensed peace officer is asked to send the woman’s name, the agency she is working or has worked for, her position or title and any special, but brief, additional information to Jane Harlan at email@example.com as soon as possible.
The public is invited to attend the luncheon. The cost is $15 for students, $30 for others or $350 for a table of eight. Reservations should be made by August 16 by sending a check to the Amarillo College Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Amarillo, TX 79178, noting that it’s for the Louise Daniel Luncheon. Reservations may also be made on the website www.louisedaniel.org. Proceeds will benefit the Louise Daniel Women’s History Lecture Fund at the Foundation. For any questions, call committee secretary Jane Harlan at (806) 355-4125.
Daniel, who died in 2003, had been an Amarillo science teacher, education advocate, landscape photographer and community leader. The luncheon honors her last wish, to remind women of the struggles and efforts of earlier women to overcome barriers to equality and to celebrate their contributions to Panhandle history.
Luncheon sponsors include Cindi Barela Graham, Claire Hamker Grammer, Amarillo College Foundation, Teresa and Charlie Clemons, Susan Coleman, J.D., Carolyn Ottoson, Randall County Sheriff’s office, Mark and Terry White, Amarillo Women’s Network, American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.