Katie Pope Hunter didn’t set out to break boundaries in 1974.
The first black female officer in Rocky Mount was a single mother of two young boys and she saw law enforcement as a way to support her family.
“It was a different time then,” said her son, Tim Pope, who is a trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol. “When she was in law enforcement, there was a lot of racism she had to deal with.”
He recalled awful derogatory comments her fellow officers would make, but the Elm City native stuck to it. After fellow officers Lurlene Preast and Shirley Howell filed a lawsuit in 1977 under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all female officers were paid at the same rate as their male counterparts in Rocky Mount. She served in a variety of capacities within the department, including several years as a courtroom officer where she met rookie officer Laura Fahnestock. (Source: Read more)