Women in Law Enforcement

FamilyCareers

  • Author Nail Walter
  • Published August 2, 2011
  • Word count 400

Although women in law enforcement still make up only a small percentage of the total workforce, the females in this field have come a remarkably long way in just the last few decades. In fact, females used to be prohibited from becoming police officers up until a group of women in New York City sued for the right to be cops. Now, women are not only allowed to enter this force; they have also fought to get a fair level of respect.

For many women, law enforcement offers the best aspects of two worlds: the opportunity to serve one’s country and protect public safety without leaving family and other personal obligations behind, such as the military would require. Additionally, women also bring a special set of skills to the public safety work environment that employers are specifically looking for. In an unstable job market, being in demand is a rarity that many women are unable to pass up.

So what are these special skills that make women so "in demand" in the law enforcement job market? The number one difference is conflict resolution. Having women on the force improves the quality of the way police are able to resolve conflicts, because it brings a fresh perspective that wasn’t there when the police force was made up solely of men. Although every man and every woman is different, women tend to have a different (and often more successful) way of dealing with conflict, specifically through verbal resolution as opposed to sheer physical force.

Here are a few more important facts that you should know about women in law enforcement:

• Female officers often are often better at facilitating trust and cooperation with citizens compared to their male counterparts.

• Police departments tend to have better overall responses to domestic violence situations when female officers are present.

• Sexual harassment and discrimination cases tend to decrease within law enforcement agencies when the number of female officers is increased.

• The percentage of women in the law enforcement field within the United States has increased from less than 2 percent 30 years ago, to more than 12 percent today.

• Women tend to rely less on physical strength, and they must think of more peaceful and less excessively forceful ways to engage in dangerous incidents.

Many law enforcement agencies have seen the benefits that women can bring, and they are actively seeking more female officers to join the ranks.

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