Women who made an early mark with SBPD

Officer Jean Erickson, pictured in 1962, was the first sworn female Seal Beach Police Officer to attend a police academy. Courtesy photo

For those of you who know me, you know that I am fascinated by Seal Beach history. My go-to for all things Seal Beach PD history is former Seal Beach Police Officer and now Orange County District Attorney’s Office Supervising Investigator Stan Berry. Stan is an absolute treasure trove of information, and has photos and historical artifacts from the SBPD’s history. If you ever visit one of our community events, you’ll likely see Stan with his elaborate history displays. He is very knowledgeable about this topic and happy to share what he has discovered with the Seal Beach community.

March is Women’s History Month and for this week’s Briefing Room, I thought I’d write about some local women who made history at the Seal Beach Police Department.

Officer Jean Erickson was the first sworn female Seal Beach Police Officer to attend a police academy. Jean was born September 20, 1922 and passed on June 3, 2010. She grew up in Bemidji, MN where she met and married Easten “Eric” Erickson. They celebrated 50 years together until his death in 1992. Jean worked all her life until retirement. Her last 20 years of work were with the Seal Beach Police Department, first as a clerk/dispatcher, then an officer, and then as a secretary to five different Police Chiefs. Officer Erickson paved the way for women in Law Enforcement in Seal Beach.

Jean was followed by Officer Carol Buzzard who worked for the SBPD from 1961-1967 and then Le Dean Lewis (who was one of the few if not only female Reserve Officer’s in the 1960’s).

Unfortunately, we don’t have much more information on these pioneering women so I’m calling on you Seal Beach! If you have information about them, please email me at askacop@sealbeachca.gov. We’d love to know more about our history.

Email your questions to askacop@sealbeachca.gov today and see if your question gets answered in our regular Q&A.