A federal judge in Alexandra has awarded a policewoman more than $5,000 in back pay after deciding the Arlington police department discriminated against her in promotion practices.
Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. Wednesday awarded Linda Fisher Shortt $5,787 minus taxes and other fees, and ordered the police department to restore Shortt to her former higher police rank.
Shortt was hired in 1971 as a criminal investigator as part of the county's efforts to increase the number of women on its police force.
According to court records, many policemen became angry because Shortt and other policewomen were hired in 1971 and 1972 as investigators without undergoing the usual period of training on patrol duty.
Because of pressure from the policemen, Shortt and seven other women investigators were demoted from police officer II positions to police officer I category. They took a $1,000 a year decrease in pay.
The women were told they would have to work on patrol duty for at least one year and they would have to compete with men to gain their former positions.
Shortt's pay was reduced from $13,923.52 to $12,026.56 a year.
In 1973 the police department corrected its policy and required all new women hired first to complete at least one year of patrol duty.
Arlington County attorney Jerry Emrich said Wednesday he does not know if the county will appeal Bryan's decision.