DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - She blazed a trail for women in Morgan County and on Thursday, a beloved and well-known member of the community was laid to rest.
Mary Reynolds was the first woman to ever wear a police badge in Decatur and her family shed light on her legacy.
Services were held at Roselawn Funeral Home where relatives and members of the community paid tribute to Reynolds.
Linda Reeves said her sister had a big impact on the area as Decatur's first female police officer.
"She was not the only police officer for the police department but the first in Morgan County so she opened a lot of doors for a lot of women here in Decatur," she said.
In 1970, Reynolds started as a switchboard operator for Decatur dispatch, but she knew she wanted to serve and protect and seized the first opportunity that came her way to be a member of the police force.
"In 1977 when they finally opened the door for women to be hired on as a police officer she was the first to apply," Reeves said. "She liked to help people. She liked to be there to help them out and take care of them, like she did her whole family to be honest with you."
When Reynolds left the police department, she became a security guard at the Decatur Mall and was very active in the community.
"She joined the Elks lodge. She was one of the first women to be an Elk. So she's been an inspiration for a lot of people," her sister said.
Reynolds passed away at the age of 83 on Dec. 30 and she will remembered by many.
Survivors include her children, Charles Long, Rebecca de Quesada and Joe Long; 12 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; sisters, Linda Reeves, Sandra Andrews and Audrey Clark and one brother, Steve Blagburn.
The Decatur Police Department posted a heartfelt tribute to Reynolds, stating: "We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mary Reynolds. Mrs. Reynolds was the first sworn female police officer of the Decatur Police Department. She served her city honorably, and we are ever grateful for her service."
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