If a Cop Cries, Does Any One Listen? In this day of Ferguson and Baltimore, can we remember Good Cops are out there?


* 17 y/o  in Lubbock, TX    *Day of Swearing in: Davenport, IA.   *Mother of 5 when raped.

I remember the day she was sworn in. Trula was a determined, proud and grateful person. She was destined to become a decorated policewoman and a pioneer in her field. In her professional life, as in childhood and adulthood, controversy would dog her. Few saw her emotional moments of personal pain for she immersed herself in the protection of tough love and CYA. She honed those skills as the result of “the blue code being administered differently to female officers. Hers was a career that had drama, compassion, recognition, and rejection throughout; but she lived and loved every moment; and in the end, it almost broke her heart.

There were consequences to her decision to become a police officer and they were big ones. But given the background of her childhood, her ability to overcome childhood molestation and then rape as an adult in her home after the birth of her fifth child, she was a definite survivor.  She was also  a role model for those who, when kicked in the teeth by life; get up, spit out the blood and move forward. She was her own worst enemy and the best friend of any down and out street person; addict; underdog; or person in need of protection.

Mine was a privilege of birth that allowed me to  watch her from childhood to death. I am her sister. Her baby sister whom she adored, abhorred, and sometimes did bodily harm too. I am the one who drove her over the edge at times, but heard her intimate confessions in life when we weren’t on disgruntled terms. I am her sister, and only now, in my days of retirement am I able to share about her and the passion of her caring and devotion to helping victims become survivors. Why now? Why me? Because I am her sister, and I still have breath in my body

     THE GODWIN GIRLS; MOTHER MARGUERITE, strong victim/advocate; JOYCE (R) future author; AND TRULA  future police officer (L and standing on the ground)

The Godwin Girls


As a woman who was a pioneer in the field of police work as a sex crime expert, first woman in the nation to have her own solo squad car, Trula knew from the onset that grit would be the determining factor as to whether she made it or not as a police officer. They didn’t call them the “Good Ole Boys” for nothing when referring to male police officers.  She was not automatically “included” and in fact in the beginning all the cops refused to ride with her saying a “woman couldn’t cover their back“. There were several instances when the “Blue Code” was used against her by her fellow officers, rather than for protection.  Then up stepped a burly police officer named Warren and he said he would ride with her, be her friend, and see her through to her death.

In time to come, Trula would become a training officer, sex crime expert, the first woman of the elite MEG (Metro Enforcement Group)  (undercover)  and the first woman officer in the nation to have her own squad car and ride a beat alone. That “beat” was the inner city; the nucleus of the street people and the raw nerve of the city where they could not “control” the pulse of  crime. At least that’s how it was when she arrived. It became her hotbed of C. I.’s (confidential informants) because they trusted her and respected her. She was able to “walk on the wild side” and was protected by the street people and their own street code. The street people were far more inclusive of her than the “good ole boys” and their “blue code”.

In 1984 she was named one of the top 5 women in law enforcement, and in 1985 she was name Woman  of the Year by the International Association of Women Police..

Trulas honor as a Police Officer as one of the top police women in America



Before her forced retirement due to the breast cancer, she achieved a level of appreciation from the male officers for living up to her motto: CYA. (Cover your ass) which was her demonstrated answer to everything that was thrown at her by her peers and anyone else who tried to take her down. She was an invaluable back up and the men knew it.

Trula was instrumental in working with Governor Terry Branstad to get the state statute of limitations changed for the benefit of rape victims.  She was also named an Honorary Colonel of the Iowa National Guard by Governor Terry Branstad for meritorious service in the line of duty.(In the picture below, Left to right: Iowa State Representative Steven E. Grubbs, Iowa State Governor Terry Branstad, Police Officer Trula Ann Godwin.

COLONEL's Wings Presentation by Governor Branstad

Trula’s Philosophy   

There are really only two ways to approach life—as victim or as gallant fighter—and you must decide if you want to act or react; deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. If you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you.                                                                      

                                                                      Borrowed from Merele Shain*

As her sister, I only know of twice in those 28 years on the force when my sister broke down and cried due to something that happened on the job. No it wasn’t when she was punched in the face receiving a fractured bone on her face under her eye that led to complications (and the mother of the man who did it showed up at the station and told Trula she was so angry at her son for hitting Trula she would have shot him but they arrested him and she couldn’t get to him.) The two times I know of are: Once when she arrived on a call and tried to resuscitate a baby, still warm to touch, who had died of SIDS.  The other time was when a young man who was mentally ill and a very trusting person, was ganged up on, kicked in the head and stomped to death on a down town street by his peers. Trula had worked with him, helping guide him and stabilize him in the community. She wrote a touching poem as a tribute to him:

                         REALITY     by Police officer Trula Ann Godwin

David Smith died today

Bruce Springsteen mania prevails

The Chicago Cubs lost ……

                                    and justice is a joke

A dream died today

A family grieved their loss

A cop cried……..

                             but no one paid


*********************************************************************************** “““““““““Her Final Honor, Her Greatest Hour:

“““““““““The Conference of Black Youth Presenter.

This letter was delivered as part of my sister’s last career speech. As a police officer she loved this invitation to speak more than any other. As a white police officer raised in Oklahoma, she felt most honored to be asked. It was the invitation to speak at the yearly Conference of Black Youth to a few hundred attendees. Indeed, though she was ill with the effects of her breast cancer treatments, she delivered the speech as her last official outreach before leaving the force after twenty eight years.

It was also the last time she and I were able to collaborate on a talk or story or be able to sit together and polish and tighten her words. She always wanted to be sure whatever she was going to say, was said in a manner that conveyed respect and lifted her listeners up. She never forgot where she came from and that she had lived growing up first- hand in the segregated south. She wanted to be sure that when they honored her by asking her to speak, she honored them in what she would say.


In recent national news coverage, a young man was heralded as a hero for rescuing a couple from a burning mobile home in Mississippi. What made this story so spectacular to the media was the fact that the young man was African-American, the couple was white, and outside their mobile home flew a confederate flag. Add to that information the fact the young man was returning home just having viewed the movie “Rosewood”. (http://www.displaysforschools.com/history.html)

Here was a young man who had just seen a movie about a white hate mob wiping out an entire community of African-Americans leaving no trace that the community had ever existed. Suddenly he witnesses a burning trailer flying a Confederate flag that often is today’s emblem of membership in such a hate group.

This young man not only stopped to help, but he saved the two people inside which required going into the flaming inferno, and then giving them CPR. The couple inside told the media that medical personnel told them, another two or three minutes and they could not have been saved. The husband who was pulled to safety first said when he looked at the burning trailer, he was not sure he would have risked going back in for his wife as it looked so hopeless.

The young hero made a decision based on his hope that there is good in this world, though it may only have been in him. He did not judge the situation by what he saw, or what he could have “thought” he saw. Recently reunited with the couple he saved, he was embraced by them both, thanked and assured no Confederate flag would ever fly at their house again. Even though their flag had no association with a hate group or intended racist attitude, they now understood what it meant to him.

My challenge to the African-American youth of today is the same as my challenge to the White youth , Asian youth, Native Indian youth and indeed all youth. Take responsibility for all that you think, believe and act on. Do not let hate, bigotry and prejudice from the past or present lead you to destroy the future. Be strong in your pursuit of justice, and let it be justice for all.

Have faith and hope in this nation and its future. Never let anyone take your heritage from you. You were born in the greatest nation with the most freedom of any place in this world. Do not let negative history become so ingrained in you that you destine yourself, your family and this country to repeat it’s mistakes.

Be responsible to communicate with others, to bury fear of being different, and in fact learn to embrace it. It is your birthright and your true “Heritage”.

Believing in your future, I thank you.

Trula Ann Godwin.


                       Memorials and Tributes Photo Gallery

Trula was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Library


While there were many tributes, including a letter from Govenor of Iowa Terry Branstad, here is just a mixture from Her website http://www.trulagodwinproject.webs.com  which was created for her posthumously: www.trulagodwinproject.web.com

Some selected memorial goodbyes from Trula’s friends/family which further define who she was.

A CARD FROM HER JEWISH FRIEND LAURA WAS ONE OF MY DEFINITE FAVORITES: It had all the flags of the world written into the word PEACE.

Lying in the hospital for the last time, pioneer police officer Trula Ann Godwin had a steady stream of visitors and received many cards. Her breast cancer had returned with a vengeance and the chemotherapy and bi-lateral mastectomies had not stopped it from ravaging her body. 28 years on the police force had toughened her to a point that she could step back and finally accept the nurturing and accolades due her.

One card that touched me  deeply was the one pictured above. I read it to her and she smiled. Her Jewish friend was particularly close to her and was/is a fiery passionate worker who especially excelled in working with juvenile offenders.

December 16, 2002


There are no words & not enough space here to tell you what I feel. I am hopeful, however, that you already know. You have been not only a loyal friend to me for so many years, but so much more. You are a role model. You’ve shown me how to live life, how to embrace the world, how to fight a good fight, often with love rather than power. YOu are so many of the things that I want to be. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your wisdom, your soul. I, along with the multitudes you touched, will take those gifts with us as we journey through this world.

As I leave for Israel on Wednesday, I will take you with me in my heart. I will pray for you on holy ground (& yes I  will remember to duck ☺☺)

I hope to see you in better health when I return on 1/3/03. If I do not, I will listen for your footsteps up in heaven, when the world is quiet. I will know that you are in a better place, with God (Jews don’t werite it-remember?)helping the less fortunate in heaven, watching over all of us, whispering in your friends ears occasionally-we will need you, & walking around like you mean it.

God bless us both on our journeys. I love you my friend.               Laura

P.S. I got this crucifix in Jerusalem, wear it with my love always.

This is another card that was received before her death while she was still at the hospital. It touched me as it was written by a female officer who followed Trula onto the force and had learned first hand the challenges of working in a hostile environment, and yet understood Trula had endured so much more when she “plowed the road” for those women who followed.


Hi Trula,

I want to remind you that your life has not been in vain. Your life has touched many other lives in a good way. I know this because as I have worked the street as an officer, many people have mistaken me for “Trula”. This is always ok with me, because it is very evident that people love you and would never do anything to harm you. It is plain to me that if anyone else would even try to harm you…..these people would help you.

I have been able to “ride along on your coat tails” because of this. There were many times when it was quite tense dealing with some of these people, but because they thought I was “Trula”, they would calm down and be cooperative. I can’t think of a time that a citizen who mentioned your name, didn’t have a smile or a good word about you. I thought you would like to know this and this is what I am reminded of when I think of you.

Whatever it is that you are needing right now…Peace? Hope? Comfort? Strength? Love? I pray that God will bless you with it.       Jeanne Ray


Tom Williams (Davenport, IA) December 26, 2002

Trula was a very special person. she impacted the lives of all who knew her. I am very fortunate to have been able to call her my friend. “The wolves are calling to each other mourning your passing.”



Gina Wright (Davenport, IA) December 26, 2002 (Daughter of former Mayor of Davenport, Charles “Chuck Wright” or as Trula called him affectionately “Charley Rotten. He was the mayor who hired Trula onto the police force and stood behind her in all things.)

I feel blessed to have known Trula; she was a very special person to me and my family. My dad now has an angel with him in heaven. Trula and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.


Todd Reed (Davenport, IA)December 26, 2002

What can one say about Trula that all who knew and loved her doesn’t already know. I am blessed she was my friend.

“Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake

the only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake

The woods are lovely, dark and deep

But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep.

And miles to go before I sleep “

Robert Frost


Tamie Smith (Wright) (Wentzville, MO) December 26, 2002(Another daughter of Mayor Wright)

Trula, I am glad the suffering is over. I know you’re in a better place, you helped me so much after my dad passed away. I will miss you and think of you often .  Love, Tamie.


Dawn Williams (Davenport, IA) January 4, 2003

When a loved one becomes a memory, the memory then becomes a treasure.

One day my husband and I were shooting darts against Trula and Father Brian and we were losing every game. Finally Tom said we may as well give up; they had the Law and God on their side. So we quit.

I am blessed to have known Trula as a dear and close friend. She was and always will be a special part of my life.

To Darrin, Brad, Amy, Rhoda and Jason; you had a very special woman as a mother. She will be deeply missed by all.


Kathryn Irwin (Houston, Texas) December 26, 2002

Trula was a very special cousin to me and someone I always admired as I was growing up. Although I’m sure she must have considered me her “bratty little cousin Katie” at times, she never made me feel that way. I love you Trula and I’ll miss you very much.


A LONG LOST COUSIN (A note from Trula’s sister: As my husband, Father Brian Miclot and I prepared to take Trula to the hospital for the last time, the phone rang and this cousin was on the phone. Trula was so touched to hear her voice and know she was “alright and safe” after years of being lost to one another, she realized it was a “God thing” that they were able to speak and say to each other “I love you” It gave Trula great peace of heart as she loved her very much.)

Today is Trula’s birthday and I think it is the perfect day for me to sign her Guest Book and share a few memories I have of her.

Trula was my cousin and I’m about six years her junior. When I was growing up I looked up to her and always thought she was so beautiful.

Some things I remember: We went to Woolworth’s and she was so proud of the wedding anniversary card she bought for her parent’s anniversary. When we returned home, she showed it to my mother. One problem. It was a sympathy card.

One evening when she was babysitting for me she came across a crime magazine and read some of it. It scared her so much that when my parents came home, they found her hiding under the desk.

One warm , lazy summer day, we climbed up on the roof of our grandparent’s house. We sat with legs dangling over the side, talking and eating cherries from an over hanging cherry tree branch. It was a special time for two cousins to share.

When I was fifteen and she was about twenty-one she came to live with my family for a lttle while. I loved having my older and wiser, fashion savvy cousin there to give me all kinds of advice about makeup and clothes and boys. On an outing to a drive-in movie she advised me concerning dating.

She told me, “While you’re young you should drink all you can….a, uh. I mean date all you can”. We had a really good laugh about that.

Trula had inner beauty as well as the outward beauty. I’ve always remembered. I hope the work that was so close to her heart will go forward in her honor. I love her and I’m sad that “goodbye” came so soon. I’ll cherish the memories I have of her.


Photo Gallery Trula Ann Godwin (Tanner)

Trula Godwin project mail box


Below is the novel written to honor Trula. The first book of the Greyhound Lady Walking Series, real cases fictionalized to protect identities of victim/survivors, workers, locations and confidentiality. She collaborated on cases for the series before her death.








GLW collage with author 9

Before retiring.

Police  Officer Trula Ann Godwin at about 20 years on the force








With daughter Amy Elizabeth Tanner




trula with amy bald

GLW Tracks 2

A novel written with Trula’s hometown and childhood in mind; as well as some family stories “in the creative fiction” telling. Lisbon is a blend of this author, and Trula.





Trula at 17 when she lived

in Lubbock, Tx. and was

friends with Buddy Holly.

My dad visiting in Okmulgee, Ok. My sister Trula on the right, and me on the left.

Our dad visiting in Okmulgee, Ok. My sister Trula on the right, and me on the left with our biological father, Lloyd J. Godwin of Okmulgee/Morris Oklahoma.  






























Copyright 2008Mosaics




Trula by Bob Clancy


About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer the novels as printed books, having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on Amazon.com Kindle eBooks: collectively they are known as The Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series.They are real cases fictionalized into suspense stories to protect identities..( no victim/survivor names were compromised, and workers and locations were protected.) I also co-authored a non-fiction book: Footsteps Out of Darkness: The Annabelle Kindig Story . It is available on Amazon under the name of Annabelle Kindig. I have traveled, written from the heart, and found an audience that appreciates my "platform". The catalyst to writing the novels was the realization that if I died, I would take all my amazing experiences in these real cases with me; and believe me few have lived 5 lives in one. It would "silence the voices" of the victim/survivors whose triumphs are written into these novels. The suspense series was written in part with the collaboration of police woman and sex crime expert Trula Ann Godwin. In addition to the novels, I have written as a ghost writer for a World War II veteran who fought in the South Pacific aboard the USS Maryland in all the major battles. I have also written a non-fiction book recording oral history stories of my family members beginning with the 1930's to present. There are sixty-six "legacy" stories with pictures. It was recently published as a private printing for family and close associates only. I am a published photo journalist having won the 2009 Editor's Choice Award for internet freelance news articles and pictures of the Cedar Rapid's Iowa flood victim accounts and their personal struggles.. My husband and I are in our 52nd year together (only one blip on the marital radar together), and we have adopted three greyhounds; Dex, Big Buddy and Baby Doll. These were the inspirations in the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series We have eleven grandchildren, 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. My three children live in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.
This entry was posted in Family Legacies, Rape inspires victim to become a police woman, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to If a Cop Cries, Does Any One Listen? In this day of Ferguson and Baltimore, can we remember Good Cops are out there?

  1. Thank you as always for bringing to light the almost invisible.

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