Women in Policing
University of Phoenix
Women in Policing
Law enforcement is one of the oldest professions in this country. Law enforcement is a profession that has been primarily dominated by men since its inception more than one hundred years ago. This paper will discuss in detail the emergence of women in the profession of law enforcement. The author will discuss some of the contemporary issues that face women in the performance of their duties to include treatment by their male counterparts, the perception of society on women in policing, and the role of education which leads to women in positions of leadership. The author will provide a history, present, and predictions for the future of women in policing.
In the early 1800’s women were motivated by a sense that women activists contributed a positive, feminine approach to addressing society problems. Throughout the country, women were being hired to protect and manage incarcerated women and juveniles. In 1893, the Chicago Police Department appointed Mary Owens to the rank of patrolman. Owens was a widow of an officer of the police department, and occasionally the department would hire widows as a type of death benefit for their husbands. Owens worked for the Chicago Police Department for 30 years, and assisted with cases that involved women and children. Mary Owens was the first woman to receive arrest powers (Harrington, 2009). In 1905, Lola Baldwin was given police powers and put in charge of a group of social workers in order to aid the Portland, Oregon Police Department during the Lewis and Clark Exposition. Baldwin was the first women to be sworn in as a police officer in the United States. In 1910, Alice Stebbin Wells was the first woman to be called a policewoman when she joined the Los Angeles Police Department. Historians disagree when it comes to who actually is the “first woman police officer” in the United States. One side...