Sixty-five years ago, a young 28-year-old named Lisa Faye Stanley moved to Plano.
The ’50s were an exciting time to live here: Plano Elementary School opened; Plano’s first library opened; and North Central Expressway was completed through Plano to McKinney. And on January 1, 1957, the Plano Police Department was organized, which little did Faye know would become the stage for her debut as Plano’s first policewoman.
The news made the paper:
On Monday, September 16, 1963, Mrs. Faye Stanley began working for the Plano Police Department. Her duties will consist of radio dispatcher on the day shift and Court Clerk. She will also assist the handling of the female prisoners.
The clipping is carefully taped in a scrapbook that memorializes her time with the Plano PD from 1963–1968. Other old, yellow newspaper clippings tell stories of her bravery. Black and white photos portray former colleagues who became cherished friends, and certificates of achievement from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas A&M University acknowledge her efforts to become the best she could be.
“I didn’t plan on becoming a police officer,” Faye admitted, “but I went to church with the chief of police, J.B. Toler, and he said he needed a dispatcher. Later, I became a police officer.”
She had no training, but it didn’t take long to get up to speed. The first morning she reported for duty, a man killed his mother-in-law and took his ex-wife as a hostage. The ex-wife escaped to a barn about eight miles northwest of Plano before coming to the station. Faye was assigned to guard her, while the chief and two deputy sheriffs located and arrested the suspect.
Then, two months later, this happened…
President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 CST today, November 22, 1963, here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound to the brain.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy rocked the world. “It was a rough time,” said Faye. “It was so busy, the police chief had to call in people from Dallas to come up here and help me out because I was new.”
When Faye was training to become a police officer, she didn’t know she was going to become Plano’s first female officer. Her squad highly respected her, perhaps because she eventually paid her way to take karate and self-defence classes. “They were all real nice,” she recalled.
Faye lives a quiet life as a resident of Country Lane Seniors Community in her hometown of McKinney. Her husband William has already passed on, but family members are not too far. She has a daughter named Judy, five grand-children and three great-grandchildren. Son Monty followed her footsteps and retired from the Carrollton Police Dept. with 35 years’ experience as the Assistant Chief. His daughter, Aileen, is also with the Carrollton PD.
“When our son Monty came back home from college, he said he wanted to be a police officer and I said, ‘No!’ I was afraid for his safety. But he just retired and I’m so glad.”
Originally published in Plano Profile‘s October 2016 issue.