Women Police Officers – a step forward or back?


The website above illustrates facts of women in law enforcement.  New York City was the first city in the United States to hire female law enforcement officers; however, the role that they had to fulfill then was vastly different from the role that they fill today.  Their role was being a “matron” with the department which limited their work role.  in the 20th Century, they made up 2% of all law enforcement officers.  Today, women now are 12% of all law enforcement officers.

So why is it that women are still scarce within police departments?  They are now able to perform all duties that are required for males on the force, but they are looked at in a different way while performing them.  They are pushed harder in training and held at higher standards than their male colleagues.  So even though women are now allowed to be police officers and work within the department, there is still gender bias.


With this (^) link above, this article illustrates the problems associated that women face going into law enforcement.  Gender bias, sexual harassment, intimidation from peers, over aggressive assholes that they meet while on the job, and the lack of proper mentors in the department to help them move as quickly up in rank as their male colleagues.  The number of women in law enforcement as actually declining.  I’m wondering if this is because people underestimate women more in this profession and give them a harder time.  There are a lot of people who still believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to perform certain duties that are “only for men.”

Are women in law enforcement a hindering step back, or a slow ascend for new ideas, strengths, and deterrence?


About lhitt

Senior at ODU. Working to become a police officer in North Carolina.
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7 Responses to Women Police Officers – a step forward or back?

  1. Dugutigui says:

    Probably, general speaking, woman is more intelligent than man.
    And who wants brilliant cops?
    No one: not the powerful, not the powerless and, of course, not the police departments
    And not me… :)

  2. jbent008 says:

    As a criminal Justice major, and a firm believer that police are employed to do good; I feel that no matter whether a man or a women, it shouldn’t make any difference. In a society where we are striving to have equal rights between men and women, it is a bold statement to make that woman are more intelligent than men. It is sad that police dont get as much respect as they deserve, because when in need, everyone always looks for the police, but when the going is great, people, women and men tend to hate on the police. It shouldn’t matter what gender a police officer is, they should both get the same amount of respect at all times.

  3. bradhelmick says:

    I think that women in policing is very important. In a lot of instances the women police officers can be more strict and less lenient than their male counter parts. I think women police officers help keep the men on their toes and help keep women a part of policing. If it was not for women police officers women may get the feeling that they are underrepresented in policing potentially causing issues. Women still face a lot of problem with moving up in the rankings of police agencies, but they are making good progress.

  4. ssisk001 says:

    I think that it is important to have both male and female police officers as both genders bring different things to the table that the other might not necessarily offer. When dealing with sensitive cases such as sexual abuse or rape cases, it may be easier for a female to discuss these things with another female than with a male officer, especially if the victim is younger.

  5. johncann2 says:

    Instead of looking at weaknesses, we should embrace strengths. I believe gender equality is important in all positions. However, there are some situations where a female or male would have a greater impact on the outcome of a situation and we should capitalize on human potential when possible and if applicable. For example, if a female is a victim of a sexual assault, a female officer may have a greater outcome by interviewing the victim. So in cases like that, we should use gender in favor of effectiveness and not as a discriminatory practice.

  6. cjohn162 says:

    As a Criminal Justice major I have heard this many times dealing with women and their continuous discrimination in the police force. There is not so much discrimination against them with the actual hiring process. Studies were shown that concluded that physical strength was not a big factor at all when becoming a police officer. So most of the discrimination comes from guys that they work with. I think the potential women and men have are equal it is just up to society and the stereotypes in order for there to be a change.

  7. Andy says:

    Women police shouldnt be allowed, they are weak and its only the law that stops them getting hurt but when faced with a man whos hellbent on ignoring the law then a woman has no chance of protecting herself. So women shouldnt be allowed in the Police or army. They are weak.

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