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Therese Rocco: Pittsburgh's First Female Assistant Police Chief

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Therese Rocco is known to her colleagues as “The Rock.” This diminutive woman, at the age of nineteen, began her career in law enforcement as a clerk in a small, all-female missing persons unit of the Pittsburgh Police Department. Her career ended nearly fifty years later, as an honored and acclaimed Assistant Police Chief—the first woman in the Pittsburgh Police Departmen Therese Rocco is known to her colleagues as “The Rock.” This diminutive woman, at the age of nineteen, began her career in law enforcement as a clerk in a small, all-female missing persons unit of the Pittsburgh Police Department. Her career ended nearly fifty years later, as an honored and acclaimed Assistant Police Chief—the first woman in the Pittsburgh Police Department to reach such a high-ranking position. Many of the stories in this gritty and entertaining memoir underscore the fact that the young clerk was quickly moved into investigative work because of her grit and willingness to put herself in danger in the line of duty, and her determination to track down even the smallest lead. I faced a great deal of discrimination…but I accepted the challenge with a smile… Therese Rocco became a household name because of her tenacity and fearlessness in high profile cases involving missing children. Her dedication and dogged pursuit of truth earned her the recognition of governors, mayors and other high-ranking officials. Some of my memories are indeed painful. I think of the faces of anxious parents as I braced myself to tell them their child would not be coming home. Therese is credited with establishing protocols for the investigation of missing child cases that have saved the lives of untold numbers of children.


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Therese Rocco is known to her colleagues as “The Rock.” This diminutive woman, at the age of nineteen, began her career in law enforcement as a clerk in a small, all-female missing persons unit of the Pittsburgh Police Department. Her career ended nearly fifty years later, as an honored and acclaimed Assistant Police Chief—the first woman in the Pittsburgh Police Departmen Therese Rocco is known to her colleagues as “The Rock.” This diminutive woman, at the age of nineteen, began her career in law enforcement as a clerk in a small, all-female missing persons unit of the Pittsburgh Police Department. Her career ended nearly fifty years later, as an honored and acclaimed Assistant Police Chief—the first woman in the Pittsburgh Police Department to reach such a high-ranking position. Many of the stories in this gritty and entertaining memoir underscore the fact that the young clerk was quickly moved into investigative work because of her grit and willingness to put herself in danger in the line of duty, and her determination to track down even the smallest lead. I faced a great deal of discrimination…but I accepted the challenge with a smile… Therese Rocco became a household name because of her tenacity and fearlessness in high profile cases involving missing children. Her dedication and dogged pursuit of truth earned her the recognition of governors, mayors and other high-ranking officials. Some of my memories are indeed painful. I think of the faces of anxious parents as I braced myself to tell them their child would not be coming home. Therese is credited with establishing protocols for the investigation of missing child cases that have saved the lives of untold numbers of children.

32 review for Therese Rocco: Pittsburgh's First Female Assistant Police Chief

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir by Therese Rocco. It is well written and has great stories. She came of age in a mans world and met the challenge and then some. She paved the way for every woman who entered the work force after her and the police department would be the toughest glass ceiling to break but she did it. I wish she and her publisher were aware of Goodreads. I was surprised there were no reviews here on this fine book. It’s a fast good read. I will recommend to my friends.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James Lewis

    A fascinating memoir by a powerful Pittsburgh police veteran who rose through the ranks, battling sex discrimination all the way. The book is full of cases on which she worked, particularly missing person cases involving small children, some solved, some not. Ms. Rocco became the city's first assistant police chief and was denied entry into the US Marshal's program only due to the opposition of a sexist local congressman. Those who know her say she is an exceptional presence, and this shines thr A fascinating memoir by a powerful Pittsburgh police veteran who rose through the ranks, battling sex discrimination all the way. The book is full of cases on which she worked, particularly missing person cases involving small children, some solved, some not. Ms. Rocco became the city's first assistant police chief and was denied entry into the US Marshal's program only due to the opposition of a sexist local congressman. Those who know her say she is an exceptional presence, and this shines through in every page of her book. A great read for those interested in true crime or in Pittsburgh's history.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Denise Galloni

    What an amazing career Therese Rocco had. Pittsburgh was lucky to have her and her dedication.

  4. 4 out of 5

    mary thomson doig

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura June

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria Caruso

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Mclaughlin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melody Stewart-Markey

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kalista Kelly

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandy KPMP

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin Waters

  15. 5 out of 5

    Twila Hanna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann Howley

  17. 4 out of 5

    George M Eubank

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Gressley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara Nash

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Evans

  23. 5 out of 5

    April

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha L.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Hadley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz Tuttle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carla Robinson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheri Scott

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  32. 4 out of 5

    Mayah El-Dehaibi

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