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LOS ANGELES ( — The first Latina woman to join the Los Angeles Police Department died last month, authorities said Tuesday.

Josephine Serrano Collier, 91, died on Feb. 25 in Tucson, Ariz., according to the LAPD.

Collier joined the department in 1946 at the age of 24.

“Though she faced many challenges because of her gender, ethnicity and prevailing cultural issues within the Department, Josephine worked many assignments, including foot beats, vice, bunco, juvenile and the Lincoln Heights Jail. Her divisions included Hollenbeck and Central,” officials said in a statement.

She married fellow Officer Darwin “Jack” Collier and raised three children. Collier retired on Oct. 24, 1960, due to a back injury.

She then worked briefly as a counselor for the L.A. Job Corp before she and her husband moved to Idaho to take up cattle raising along the Snake River.

“In great sadness but with the utmost gratitude, our Department thanks Josephine for her sacrifices and for breaking the lines that divided women from many assignments in the early history of LAPD,” Chief Charlie Beck said. “Those sacrifices and her commitment opened the door for many women and Latinas in the Department, setting the stage for future generations.”

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