When asking people what gender makes a more effective officer, I get various responses. Some people say having women in the police force has its disadvantages. That women will bring the police force down. Women officers are seen as less trained, less powerful, and less willing to use force, that they are just seen as too soft (National Survey). But others will say women will help out the police force in many ways, in a sense, make it stronger.
As you look back at the past decades, you could only see women working inside the police station. This usually meant working as a dispatcher, working with female inmates, or juveniles. It was not until the early 1970’s when you could finally see women in a police uniform (Hickey). Since the 1970’s, the numbers for female police officers have risen dramatically. Today, of all the sworn officers across the country, fifth teen percent are women (Hickey). A sworn officer is a police officer with the full ability to arrest someone. This is up from two percent in the 1970’s and the numbers are still rising. But since Congress passed the amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1972, saying employers could not discriminate based on gender, women could then be seen working besides their male coworkers (Policewomen).
The first sworn female officer was Lola Baldwin in 1908. She was hired to perform “regular law enforcement duties” (Policewomen, 1). Even though she was hired to do normal law enforcement duties, she noticed herself working more with crime prevention and social work than working with law enforcement. Baldwin hardly ever wore a police uniform and never carried a firearm. Seeing this, she and others did not view her as the same as her male coworkers. Now, you can see more women working in the streets protecting the communities around them.
Many people have different views of women being in the police force. I believe that having women in the police force is very helpful to the police force for many reasons. Some reasons why women are more effective police officers are because women are better communicators with people, women like to build relationships, and women are less likely to use excessive force.
One strength that women bring to the police force is being good communicators. Having this trait, women are seen as negotiators and peacemakers in the police force and in the community. Being a good communicator can also defuse a situation before it gets out of hand or turns violent (LA Times, 1). There was a study done in the District of Columbia Police Department on 86 newly hired policewomen and policemen over a year period. Both groups had to respond to the same amount of violent situations and found that when responding to these types of situations, the policewomen were more effective then their male coworkers (Police Foundation, 1).
In the D.C study, the 86 newly hired female officers and 86 newly hired male police officers. Both were in the study for a one year period and both had similar cases to handle. The study showed that both handled dangerous calls but it stated that the women police officers were the ones defusing the violent situation and not resorting to physical force.
A second strength that women bring to the police force is building relationships with people while working with them (Are women better cops, 1). Citizens have shown a greater acceptance to women police officers than male police officers (Springerlink). This is very useful because it builds trust between the working officer and the other person. You can usually see women officers talking to people in the community, building relationships with them. When doing this, it puts a positive image on police officers. Also, when police officers talk with the community, it makes the people more comfortable with coming in with problems they might have.
The third reason why women are more effective police...