Women and Minorities

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When most people close their eyes and imagine a police officer, they imagine a tall Caucasian male in a blue uniform with a shiny badge. However people should not see police officers in such a stereotypical way because the race or gender of a police officer does not make a difference in the capabilities or effectiveness of an officer and diversity has proven to be a benefit to modern police departments. Throughout the history of America the role of women and minorities in policing has been in debate and they have been discriminated against because diversity goes against the traditional police subculture. For over half of American history Policing was restricted to Caucasian men and not until the early 1900s were women or racial minorities even allowed so serve on the police force in even a limited capacity. For example African Americans were only allowed to police people of their own race and Policewomen worked with children or as clerks, they "Did not perform regular patrol duty, usually did not wear uniforms, did not carry weapons, and had only limited arrest powers." (Walker & Katz, 2011, p.35) The same roles and employment opportunities regardless of gender or race in policing were established by the 1964 Civil Rights Acts and the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act because studies showed that in terms of routine policing, day-to-day patrol, crime-fighting, and order maintenance the race and gender the officer makes no significant difference in policing. The role change for women and minorities has greatly-improved Policing agencies. Today the requirements to become a police officer is the same for both men and women. Both genders must past rigid physical and mental test as well as a background investigation. Women and minority employees now hold high ranking positions within today’s law enforcement. However there are not enough women or minorities in law enforcement to properly represent a...
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