Emma Christy Baker blazed a path for African-American women when she became the first black female officer on the Indianapolis Police Department. Baker was well known in Indianapolis as the owner of a laundry business. She was a member of Bethel AME Church, Old Settlers Social and Civic Club and the Loyal Legion. Baker received the same wage and probationary period as male officers. Baker was one of 13 officers in the female wing.
Baker was born on February 10, 1865 in Salem, in Washington County, Indiana to William W. and Hester Christy, Free African Americans who settled there in the 1830’s from the Newberry District, South Carolina. She graduated from Public School Number 17 and Shortridge High School. Her family was well known in the African-American community in Indianapolis. Her father owned a successful laundry where she worked for many years.