Two Case Studies for Police Officers

Topics: Stereotype, Social psychology, Discrimination Pages: 8 (2982 words) Published: May 2, 2005
In life there are a lot of issues that involve social psychology. Being a police officer is a profession that encounters a lot of social psychology issues. One issue that all police officers have to encounter is prejudice. Police officers have to not be prejudiced against the citizens that they are trying to protect and serve the criminals that they must apprehend and also against each other. Two case studies that will be discussed are prejudice against female police officers by their male counterparts and racial prejudice against potential criminals. You're a female cop. You arrive to your precinct fifteen minutes before you scheduled time to prepare yourself for the day, and you patiently wait for your partner to arrive. Fifteen minutes after your scheduled time, your partner shows up. Although he did not call ahead of time, your captain did not reprimand him for his actions. You get mad at this because, just last week when you did call and say you would be a little late, you still got yelled at by the same captain for being late and your job position was threatened.

As you're out on patrol, you noticed a small brawl between two men starting to form in front of a corner store. You inform your partner about the possible fight and instruct him to pull over so you can see what's going on. As the two of you get out of the car he says, "You should stay in the car there could be weapons involved and I don't know if you can handle that." You inform him that you have been working for the police force for over six years and have had to deal with situations far worse than this. He then tells you that this is a man's job and if he needs help he will call you for back up. Instead of fighting with him, you get back in the car even madder because of the comments he made about you. You sit in the car thinking if you were another male cop then it would not have been a problem, but since you are a female, there is a stereotype set upon you that you are weaker then he is and could not handle the situation. While thinking about this, you notice in the rearview mirror that your partner seems to be having some problems. As you get out of the car, you call for some backup just in case the situation gets out of hand. As you rush to his aid, he falls to the ground after being struck by one of the assailants. After a short fight between the two assailants and yourself, you gain control of the situation, and arrest both of the men. As soon as everything becomes under your control, your partner regains consciousness, and backup arrives. Although the crowd around you all praised you for your quick thinking and courage, your fellow officers didn't acknowledge the fact that you did this alone.

Upon arriving back at the precinct with the two suspects and your partner, you immediately are called into the captain's office. Thinking that you are going to get a little praise from the captain, you instead are reprimanded for not being at your partner's side from the start, and then for taking control of a public situation with no other back up than yourself. As your captain is yelling at you, you noticed your partner telling the story making him out to be the hero and you to be nothing. Everyone was praising him for his courage when you in fact know the hero of the story was yourself. After you are yelled at, you captain tells you to do the paper work for the arrest and says that you are not to go back on the street for the rest of your shift. Your partner is then partnered up with someone else and goes back out on the street. After your shift is over and you are preparing to go home, you overhear some officers talking about celebrating after work with a couple of beers. You start to ask about where they are going and they tell you that you are not invited because it is a boy's night out. Not only do you feel left out, but also you feel invisible to them and to everyone else.
As a female police officer there are a...
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