A couple of days ago I found this interesting article on the subject of women police officers and the national concern about police use of force. As you might guess, I was pretty interested in what it had to say.
I also gave a report on the police department to the members of the city council last month –sort of a state of the department. And one of the pieces of information I shared with them was that we are higher than the national average of women in our department among sworn staff (only those who can make arrests – no dispatch or clerical). We have 17% women (including myself) and 83% men — the average nationally in 2013 according to the FBI is 8% women and 92% men. (2013 Uniform Crime Report)
We believe that the men and the women each bring skills and abilities to the job. When we work together we find the best possible outcomes for our community. I hear other chiefs lament how difficult it is to find and hire women as police officers –something we don’t struggle with. I attribute that to the presence of women in our workforce right now–they can be seen in patrol vehicles, among detectives and command officers. It is very common for the residents and businesses of our community to have a male/female team or 1 or even 2 women respond to calls for service. And we don’t have issues with that — our workforce is a group of people who focus on their jobs –not gender differences of co workers.
With respect to police and improper uses of force that can be a complicated set of factors: training, leadership, officer selection are all factors. There are only a handful of studies and they don’t all point in the same direction.
We do not actively seek to hire a certain percentage of any type of person. We do recruit as widely as we can; we work hard to maintain a positive reputation as a good workplace for anyone and we use the best possible tools to find the best people for the job.
Here is the article: