By Joe Gorman
Detective Sgt. Anita Davis retired Friday after more than 35 years on the job.
Why did she decide to take a job in 1978 that she ended up spending so much time doing?
The answer, she said, is simple.
“I needed a job,” Davis said.
Davis, who has been a patrol supervisor for the past couple of years, was honored with a going- away party in the department’s roll-call room. She was part of a wave of the first female officers at the department who were assigned to street duty.
Davis said when she started, she wanted to change the world.
“I wanted to be super cop,” Davis said.
Davis said that she was very naive when she began. She learned through the years that by giving her best, she was doing the best job she could.
Officer Russell Davis, who works a beat on the South Side, said Davis was always around to help out.
“She always came by to make sure we were OK,” he said.
Delphine Baldwin-Casey, who retired a few years ago as a detective sergeant, was sworn in the same day as Davis. She said one of her proudest moments on the force was the day she and Davis were both patrol supervisors, the first time two female supervisors were in charge of patrol on the same day.
Davis said one of the biggest changes since she started is that there is more violence associated with the drug trade, which makes things hard for officers on the street.
“Now, we don’t know if they’re going to turn around and fire a shot at you,” Davis said. “That’s huge.”
Davis also said that parents are not as involved with their kids today, and she sees that on the street. Also, they resent when police catch their children doing something wrong.
Davis said she would tell younger officers that their job mainly involves dealing with people. She said she is proud she was the first female patrol supervisor for the department.
Davis also said she is glad she revealed several years ago she is a lesbian. That also made her job a little easier by having it out there, she said.
“It’s important to know you don’t have to hide in the closet,” Davis said.
Davis said she plans to play a lot of golf during her retirement.