Portland's Tarnished Penny

The travails of a crusading woman police chief

Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief in a big U.S. city the hard way: besides proving her abilities as an effective officer, she filed some 40 sex-discrimination complaints against Portland's police bureau, consistently winning them to keep rising in the ranks. Since her appointment to chief in January 1985, Harrington, 44, has discovered that running the city's 760-member force has been just as much of a struggle as her 21-year climb to the top.

After jumping from crisis to crisis, Harrington last week faced problems that were both professional and personal. Her husband, Police Officer Bruce Gary Harrington, was...

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