Police Enforcement And The Struggles

Decent Essays

Police officers deal with many diverse people every day as part of their job. It is important that law enforcement reflects this diversity by hiring qualified officers of different gender, race, ethnicity, etc. Police officers that do not fit into the straight, white, male category often face difficulty in their job, from both society and their colleagues. The focus of this paper will be on women in law enforcement and the struggles they continue to face. In 1845, the New York City Police Department began to hire women. These women in the police department were called “matrons” (Felperin, 2015). In the dictionary, the word matron in relation to this topic, means a mature woman in an established social position; a woman in charge of the …show more content…

In 1905, a female officer was hired in Portland, Oregon, and sworn to uphold the duties of a police officer. This female officer, however, did not work on patrol. The first women to patrol were assigned in 1968, by the Indianapolis Police Department (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olson, & Harris, 2011). Throughout the history of law enforcement, women have been trying to fight the belief that they are not capable of performing law enforcement duties such as asserting their authority and using force when necessary. The requirements to become a police officer used to keep many women from entering law enforcement because of height, weight, and strength requirements. Many of these requirements were modified in the 1980s. The National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP) conducted a study, however, that suggested a significant number of women are still being eliminated due to the physical agility testing. Women account for only a small percentage of law enforcement officers and the increase in their numbers is slow (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olson, & Harris, 2011). Women have overcome many obstacles in law enforcement, however, they still encounter issues in their line of work including the attitudes from male coworkers as well as society. Sexual harassment is problem for women in law enforcement as well as gender discrimination. They may face unwanted sexual behavior in the form of touching, jokes, or be asked for a sexual favor in return for a

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