Assigned Reading: Thistlewaite and Wooldredge, Part 1, Chapter 6, Female Police Officers: Do female police officers perform as well as male officers? pp. 115-123.
After reading the article answer the following questions in a discussion posting:
You must also comment on two of your classmate’s postings by the end of the week.
1. Do you think the methodology used to complete this study was valid?
2. What limitations do you see, if any, in the way the study was conducted?
3. Given the fact that female officers are part of most mainstream police agencies are these findings any different today than in 1974? Why or Why not?
Policing has traditionally been a male-dominated profession. Women were originally restricted from working as police officers but began working as matrons in local jails as early as 1845. The Chicago Police Department was hiring females by the late 1800s; however, they were the widows of police offi-cers who had been killed in the line of duty. The department had no formal provision for paying death benefits, so this was a way to compensate the officers’ widows. In 1905, the Portland (Oregon) Police Department was the first department to employ a female officer (Walker 1977). Lola Baldwin was hired as more of a social worker than a police officer. She was given the responsibility of protecting the city’s young women. Alice Stebbin Wells was the first female to actually be called a policewoman. She was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910. Like Baldwin, she occupied a social worker role to help young women in trouble and worked with delinquency prevention programs (Walker 1977). Wells became an advocate for women interested in police work and, by 1916, women were employed in 16 departments across the country. She founded and became the first president of the International Association of Policewomen in 1915 (Schulz 1993). The number of female police officers significantly increased in the 1950s, and there were almost 1,800 female officers by 1967. As impressive as this num-ber may seem, women made up less than 2 percent of the police workforce (Melchionne 1967). Women continued to occupy social work positions aimed at addressing stereotypical female offenses (e.g., prostitution and shoplifting). Women were also hired to fill clerical and dispatch roles. Women were excluded from patrol work because they were perceived as weak and unable to handle the demands and stress of law enforcement. Minimum height and weight requirements significantly reduced the pool of eligible female recruits. In 1968, the Indianapolis Police Department became the first department to assign females to patrol. Up until 1972, departments utilized different selection criteria for females. Amendments to the 1964 Civil Rights Act (passed in 1972) eventually created real opportunities for women interested in police work. By law, police agencies could not discriminate against women in their recruiting, hiring, and job assignments. Many more women went to work as police officers and women started performing the same tasks as male officers.
male Police officeRs: Do female officeRs PeRfoRm as Well as male officeRs?
Bloch, P., and D. Anderson (1974). Policewomen on Patrol. Washington, DC: Police Foundation.
Background As women began establishing themselves as police officers, some police administrators remained skeptical of their performance. Should women perform the same duties as men? Could women perform their duties as well as men? Would hiring a large number of female police officers change the nature of police work? These were all questions that had no answers. The first effort to address those questions came from a comprehensive study of women in police work conducted by the Police Foundation and the Urban Institute in the early 1970s. In collaboration with the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia, Peter Bloch and Deborah Anderson (1974) carried out an experiment to compare the job performance of male and female police officers.
from the study were published in 1974 under the title “Policewomen on Patrol.”5 The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., was well known for its progres-sive policies regarding female officers. Beginning in 1969, the department, under the direction of Chief Jerry Wilson, advocated expanding the role of women in policing. He allowed women to work as investigators and assigned them to the technical squad. In 1972, Wilson hired a large number of female police officers and assigned them to patrol. It was a significant move that went against national trends of allowing only a few women to work as patrol officers. It also presented a unique opportunity for researchers to assess female officers’ job performance.
The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department hired 86 women between 1971 and 1973 (referred to in the study as “new women”). No special recruitment strategies were used to attract the female applicants because the starting salary of $8,500 to $10,000 appeared to be motivation enough. Another 25 women hired between 1969 and 1971 (“reassigned women”) also participated in the study, and each had undergone a “retraining” period to prepare them for reassignment to patrol. Each of the new female officers was “matched” to a male officer with similar character-istics who had graduated from the same police academy training class. Matching is frequently used in quasi-experimental research when a researcher is unable to randomly assign study par-ticipants to comparison groups. Matching can help control for differences between groups that might influence the study outcome (such as differences based on the age and experience of an officer). The police department served a total of seven districts within Washington, D.C. Each district consisted of two platoons with three sections in each platoon. Each section was broken into five squads with 10 to 12 officers per squad. The “new women” officers were assigned to two districts: one and seven. These districts would be the “experimental districts” where the women comprised more than 10 percent of the personnel. Each woman was “matched” to a male offi-cer (“comparison men”) from districts five and six (“comparison districts”). The females could not be matched to officers within their own district because the women made up a significant proportion of the patrol force within these districts. Districts five and six were selected because they were the most similar to districts one and seven in terms of crime rates and population characteristics. No females were assigned to the comparison districts. This allowed researchers to examine the performance of new male police officers assigned to what had always been all-male districts. Because the prior job assignments of the “reassigned women” were different from those for the men, they could not be matched. Researchers ran into a few problems during the initial stage of the study. Some of the male
officers reported to dispatch that they were patrolling alone even though they had been assigned a female partner. Several women who were required to wear skirts complained about the cold weather and were reassigned to station house duties. To address these problems, Chief Wilson set forth guidelines that prohibited any special treatment for the women. Women would receive the same type of assignments (e.g., foot patrol, two officer units) and the same number of assign-ments. For the most part, officers complied with the guidelines for the rest of the study period. Researchers collected an impressive amount of data from department records (archival
data), surveys, and from observations over a two-year period. Data were used to answer three research questions:
1. Could women perform patrol work as well as men? 2. Were there any benefits or drawbacks to hiring women as patrol officers? 3. What was the impact of hiring a large number of women on police functioning?
The police department provided personnel information for each of the study participants. Researchers had access to performance reviews and civil service scores in addition to selection, interview, and training data. Included in each file was an officer’s demographic information and prior criminal history (if applicable). Six different surveys were developed for the study. Chief Wilson himself administered the
first survey. A questionnaire was mailed to each of the districts with female officers. Supervisors were asked to report the womens’ assignments (patrol, investigation, or station duty) and to rate each officer on a variety of performance indicators. Surveys were completed for 71 new female officers and 54 comparison male officers (for a 91 percent response rate). The second survey was a service survey. Researches contacted 131 people who had been in contact with the officers during the study period. A combination of telephone and face-to-face interviews were used to assess general attitudes about female police officers and their performance. A general community survey was also administered to 129 residents to measure citizens’ attitudes about policewomen. A random sample of respondents was selected via a list of phone numbers randomly generated by a computer. The advantage of this method over use of a phone book is the ability to con-tact persons with unlisted phone numbers. The fourth survey was administered directly to those who supervised study participants. Eighty-four sergeants, captains, and lieutenants completed an anonymous questionnaire to determine their attitudes and opinions about working with women. The supervisors were also asked to rate each of the officers participating in the study (both male and female). Study participants (new women, comparison men, and other male patrol officers) were asked to complete a similar survey to assess their attitudes and opinions as well. Groups of researchers were also paid to accompany and observe both the male and female
police officers while on duty. Observational data are sometimes used to supplement survey data when researchers are interested in examining interactions between individuals and groups. Two groups of observers were recruited: civilian and police. Police observers were selected from offi-cers not participating as subjects in the study. Each had at least one year of experience on the job. Observers received detailed instructions and a set of uniform procedures for collecting data, and they attended training meetings prior to the start of the project. Using a structured data collec-tion form, the observers recorded demographic information on each officer and then completed a separate form for each observed incident or encounter. Observers recorded the actions and conversations of both officers and citizens. This provided another measure of officer perfor-mance and citizens’ attitudes. Observers recorded information from 191 shifts from late June to early September 1973. They observed shifts with one-officer patrols (female or male), shifts with coed (two-officer) patrols, and two-officer patrols with males only or females only. This allowed researchers to examine a variety of assignments. To guarantee enough incidents for the study, observers accompanied officers working evening shifts only.
At the end of 1972, Chief Wilson issued a public statement acknowledging the success of the experi-ment. He stated that, in the future, men and women would be hired from the same civil service list and, in an effort to recruit more female applicants, he lowered the minimum height requirement from 5′7′′ to 5′0′′. The guidelines issued earlier in the experiment to ensure equal treatment were no longer being enforced, meaning that supervisors were free to assign officers as they felt appropriate. This resulted in some observed differences in assignments beginning mid-1973. Only 45 percent of the new women continued as patrol officers compared to 71 percent of the comparison group of men. Thirty-one percent of the females had been assigned to “inside” details such as clerical, juvenile division, or public relations. Only 12 percent of the men were assigned to these duties. The survey administered by Chief Wilson uncovered some differences in assignments that occurred during the study period as well. Men were once again less likely to be assigned to station duties and were more likely assigned to one-officer patrol cars. Women were more likely assigned to one-officer foot patrol. Researchers were not able to determine if the differences were because females requested these assignments or whether supervisors felt that these assignments were more appropriate for women. By October 1973, there were 228 women (5 percent of the police force) working for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. Sixty-one percent of these women were assigned to patrol. To answer the research questions put forth above, researchers analyzed data derived from the multiple sources mentioned earlier. Results from the study are presented below.
joB PeRfoRmance There were few differences in the overall job performance or workload between male and female police officers. The new women responded to slightly fewer incidents than the comparison men. Observations revealed that women had 4.40 incidents per hour versus 5.28 for men. This difference was attributed to the comparison men initiating more traffic stops. Women responded to more dispatch incidents than men, which took longer than traffic stops. This situation could have also explained the differences in patrol activities. No differences were found in the amount of time it took to respond to each incident. Few differences were reported in the types of calls for service with the exception that new women responded to more drunk and disorderly calls. There were no differences between new women and comparison men in terms of the emotional states of the citizens involved in the encounters or in the occurrence of threaten-ing behaviors. In other words, a police officer’s sex had no influence on citizens’ behaviors. Police officer’s sex was also unrelated to an officer’s ability to respond to a threatening citizen. Also, no differences in the officers’ attitudes toward citizens were found. The most commonly used measures of job performance in police work are the number of
arrests and the number of traffic citations by a single officer. These two items were readily avail-able to researchers and were easily quantified. A review of the chief’s survey data found that com-parison men made more felony and misdemeanor arrests and issued more traffic citations than the new women. Researchers attributed these differences to the more varied work assignments o women. Female officers were engaged in more non-patrol activities that restricted their opportu-nities to arrest and ticket suspects. Researchers also noted that 20 percent of the female officers made as many arrests, if not more, as male officers. While the number of arrests and citations provided an assessment of an officer’s productivity, the numbers by themselves revealed nothing about whether or not the arrests and tickets were valid. To address this issue, researchers assessed the quality of the arrests by examining data from the prosecutor’s management information sys-tem for all serious offenses. While cases brought in by new women were more likely to be dis-missed immediately, comparison men had more charges dropped later in the process. There were no differences in conviction rates. A review of personnel records also revealed no differences in the departmental ratings
between new women and comparison men. Departmental reviews took place one year after an officer’s appointment and included such assessment items as attitudes and behaviors, learning ability, technical knowledge and abilities, willingness to accept responsibility, and communica-tion skills. The chief’s survey included questions to assess patrol ability only. A few of the items produced differences that favored the male officers. Males performed better on the following items: protecting a partner from violence, responding to a public fight, and responding to a disor-derly male citizen. Supervisors also completed an anonymous survey to assess patrol performance for each new officer. Male officers once again received slightly higher ratings than the females, but the 1973 data found no differences in general competence, ability to respond to violence, and ability to care for the injured and distressed. Contrary to many stereotypes about women in the workforce, female officers did not take sick
leave more often, were not injured on the job more frequently, and were just as skillful in their driv-ing abilities (although the women took longer to pass their driving tests). Comparison men were more likely to have been involved in “serious unbecoming conduct” (e.g., giving false statements to a police official or being arrested for disorderly conduct while off-duty) and mild misconduct (e.g., sleeping during a police academy class or not completing an assignment). New women were more likely to have been cited for being late to work. There were no differences in the resignation rates of men versus women. Observers reported very few differences in the reactions of citizens toward the male and female officers. Survey data also showed a high level of citizen satisfaction with both male and female officers. Sixty-three percent of the people who had contact with a female officer reported that she was “very good” or “good” whereas 33 percent reported that a female officer was
“average.” These figures were comparable to those for male officers. Several citizens reported that their experiences with female officers had improved their general attitudes toward women.
commUnity anD officeR attitUDes In addition to comparing job performance between male and female police officers, researchers also assessed citizens’ and police officers’ attitudes toward women assigned to patrol. Results from the community survey (administered one year after the new women were assigned to patrol) showed a considerable amount of acceptance of females in their new role. Ninety percent of the citizens surveyed indicated that they had seen a female officer in person, and most citizens indicated that women should be afforded the opportu-nity for police work. Citizens were somewhat skeptical about the ability of a female police officer to respond to a violent situation but felt that a male and female patrol team would be effective in responding to male-female disputes. The police officer surveys revealed some interesting differ-ences. Supervisors, patrolmen, and patrol women all indicated that males were better at respond-ing to a disorderly male, but that women were better at questioning rape victims. Supervisors and male patrol officers believed men were better at handling armed robbery victims, responding to noisy teenagers and drunks, and reacting to armed suspects. The female patrol officers did not share these opinions and reported no sex differences in this regard. Patrolmen indicated that they would be better at responding to family disputes, disorderly females, and traffic accidents as well as gathering information from a crime scene (even though female officers reported more cooperation from citizens). Female officers and supervisors agreed there was no difference in this regard. Female officers indicated they were better at writing reports although the male officers and supervisors did not agree. Researchers discovered a problem with reliability when the first patrol survey was admin-istered in 1972. The order of the questions appeared to have an influence on the responses. To prevent this problem of response bias with the 1973 survey, researchers administered two ques-tionnaires with the same questions only in a different order. Researchers found that both male officers and supervisors expressed a preference for working with other male officers. Even the females indicated a slight preference for male partners. Fifty-five percent of the officers felt that it was “a good idea to have women as a regular part of the patrol force.” Supervisors and male and female patrol officers were also asked about the desirable personality traits of a police officer. All three groups felt it was important for officers to be “calm and cool in tough situations,” followed by “thinks and acts decisively,” and “observant.” The supervisors and male officers reported that it was important for officers to be “emotionally stable” and “intelligent” while the female officers felt that it was important for officers to be “understanding.” Females reported that their supervi-sors were more critical of their performance and that they received lower performance ratings than males, yet the males believed that females received higher ratings. Researchers also assessed whether or not these attitudes changed from 1972 to 1973. Over time, the supervisors reported fewer differences in the job performance of men and women whereas very little change occurred in the attitudes of the patrol officers. Researchers concluded that, in terms of job performance, women performed equally well
as men and should be hired on the same basis. According to the report, “ . . . sex is not a bona fide occupational qualification for doing police patrol work” (Bloch and Anderson 1974, p. 3). Researchers also noted several advantages to hiring female police officers, including a larger pool of applicants, officers that are more representative of the communities in which they serve, and fewer cases of misconduct that might tarnish the public’s image of the police. Aside from these advantages, assigning females to patrol also brought departments into compliance with civil rights legislation. Would a significant number of policewomen change the nature of police work? Researchers believed it would. Departments with female officers may be perceived as less antagonistic toward the public than all-male departments. Researchers believed females to be less aggressive and less tolerant of violence.
The Police Foundation study of women on patrol provided answers to questions about the abil-ity of women to perform the same duties as male patrol officers. The hiring of a large number of female officers and assigning them to patrol gave researchers a unique opportunity to conduct a quasi-experiment to determine if there were any observable differences in performance between men and women. The “new women” were all assigned to one of two police districts and then matched with a male police officer from a different district. The matched male officers had gradu-ated from the same training academy at the same time as the females, so they were equal in train-ing and rank. In this study, matching was used to eliminate the influence of preexisting differences between men and women on job performance. As useful as matching is, it is not a replacement for random assignment—a key component of experimental research. The fact that the females had to be matched to males outside of their district raised the possibility that differences in the districts might have biased the findings. Researchers made an effort to select districts that resembled those with female officers but the conditions were not identical. Despite efforts to make sure that males and females were treated the same throughout the duration of the experiment, females were more likely to be assigned station duties and “other patrol” responsibilities that reduced their opportu-nities to make arrests and issue tickets. Males outperformed females on these measures, but the results may have been biased because of the unequal duty assignments. One of the inherent difficulties with any study carried out in a natural environment is the
ability to control for all extraneous influences on the study outcomes. Researchers described some difficulties with the police observations in the final report. The intent was to observe each new woman and each comparison man at least once during the study period, but this did not happen because procedures for assigning observers were not strictly followed. Supervisors took it upon themselves to make the assignments based on their own judgments. For example, the department had a prior rule prohibiting female civilians from riding alone with male officers (the department was concerned about sexual harassment allegations). The rule was supposed to have been sus-pended for the experiment, but supervisors assigned only male observers to the male one-officer units and to the male-female officer units. When multiple observers are used to record information, researchers should always test for intercoder reliability. Intercoder reliability refers to the similarity of results recorded by different observers. If male and female observers differed in their recorded observations, the findings may be misleading. Researchers performed a reliability check on the data collected by male and female observers and found no apparent sex differences in the observers’ ratings of male and female officers, but they did uncover differences in their reported activities. Female observers reported more total incidents per hour than the male observers. Researchers also discovered that female officers were being deliberately assigned particular shifts in order to accommodate the observer. One of the biggest challenges with survey research is obtaining an adequate response rate to a
survey. Response rates usually vary according to the type of survey administered. Face-to-face inter-views typically have higher response rates than telephone and mail surveys. Response rates were an issue with the survey administered to police supervisors. The response rate was fairly high in 1972 (79 percent) but dropped to 52 percent in 1973. A larger percentage of surveys were administered in 1973, but it appeared that officials were less willing to complete and return the surveys despite the fact that they were anonymous. Response rates become an issue when the characteristics of those who complete the survey differ significantly from those who do not. In this study, supervisors from the experimental districts were less likely to respond than those from the comparison districts. A different set of problems emerged from the Chief’s Survey, where 91 percent of the surveys were returned but seven were duplicates. Officers who had been reassigned to another district during the study were evaluated twice (which was a problem only for the female officers). When choosing between duplicate surveys, researchers decided to use the instrument with the greatest number of evaluation days and to discard the other duplicate. Researchers also found out that several patrol officers had completed portions of the supervisors’ surveys at the request of their supervisors. An attempt was made to return the surveys with strict instructions that they were to be completed only by a supervisor, but this was unsuccessful. Researchers tried to identify the problematic surveys so they could exclude them from the analysis. Not surprisingly, the ratings of the officers were higher when the officers themselves completed the surveys. Male officers also rated themselves higher than female officers who completed their own ratings. Merry Morash and Jack Greene (1986) criticized the research design used in the Police Foundation study, along with other studies evaluating the performance of policewomen. Many o ms used to measure performance were indicators derived from male stereotypes that were not necessarily job related (i.e., willingness to use force and physical effort). In addition, perfor-mance indicators did not reflect the wide range of police activities. Women were being evaluated based on their ability to respond to crime; however, police officers spend a considerable amount of time engaged in service and order maintenance functions.
significance and subsequent Research
The Police Foundation study of women on patrol was the first comprehensive study comparing male and female patrol officers. Utilizing an experimental design, researchers were able to com-pare officers’ job performance and attitudes between men and women. As more females entered the profession, additional research soon followed. Lawrence Sherman published a similar study of female patrol officers one year later. Sherman (1975) evaluated the performance of 16 women who had just been assigned to the patrol division in the St. Louis County Police Department. The females were matched to a group of 16 men who were part of the same academy train-ing class. Data from field observations, interviews, surveys, and department records produced findings consistent with Bloch and Anderson (1974). Policewomen performed their duties as well as policemen. According to Sherman, females tended to display a different style of policing compared to men in that women were less aggressive and made fewer arrests and traffic stops. Citizen satisfaction surveys revealed that women tended to be more receptive to citizens’ needs. The National Institute of Justice funded a comparison study of male and female patrol officers in New York City. Forty-one female patrol officers were matched with 41 male officers. Data from over 3,600 hours of observations revealed very few differences in performance. Both males and females used similar techniques to assert control (Sichel et al. 1978). There were no significant sex group differences in the likelihoods of using force and displaying a weapon. Consistent with Sherman’s findings, female officers made fewer arrests and were found to be more deferential in their interactions with citizens. Performance indicators revealed that women officers took more sick time, but this was attributed to a problem with officer morale within the department (Sichel et al. 1978). While research has shown women to be equal to men in their ability to perform as police
officers, attitudes have been slow to change. In 1976, Joann McGeorge and Jerome Wolfe pub-lished results from their study of police officers’ attitudes toward policewomen. Only a small per-centage of male officers (18.1 percent) “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the statement “Women make as good police officers as men,” compared to almost 63 percent of the female officers. They also found that almost half of the female officers were “undecided” when asked if their coworkers respected and admired them. Male officers are not the only ones who have reservations about females’ job performance, however. A recent study published by Phillip Carlan (2011) and his colleagues revealed that female police officers who worked with female partners expressed a pref-erence for male backup, whereas females working alone did not. Differences in attitudes have also been found in surveys of undergraduate criminal justice college students. Christina Johns (1979) found that males believed females should be given limited police responsibilities, yet women should be subject to the same selection requirements as men. Kathryn Golden (1982) examined the attitudes of 134 male criminal justice majors and also found that males continued to express doubt about the ability of a female to adequately perform many police duties. Ten years later, a study by Thomas Austin and Donald Hummer (1994) revealed that not much had changed. Surveys of students enrolled in criminal justice courses revealed that almost half continued to express negative attitudes about female police officers. ide from the prevalence of negative attitudes towards female police officers, research-ers have also documented that policewomen are subjected to hostile work environments cre-ated by their male coworkers. In her book Breaking and Entering: Policewomen on Patrol, Susan Martin (1980) reported that many female officers avoided interactions with male officers because of sexual jokes and harassment. Robin Haarr (1997) interviewed female officers employed by a Midwest police department and found that women were “marginalized” in the department. Male officers held negative attitudes about a female’s ability to perform her duties, and many women were subjected to sexual jokes, pornography, unwanted sexual advances, and sexual harassment. These negative workplace conditions frequently have been a source of anxiety for female officers who typically report greater stress than male officers. Ni He, Jihong Zhao, and Carol Archbold (2002) examined sources of stress among male and female police officers in Baltimore and found that female officers exhibited more stress symptoms than male officers. Workplace problems con-tinue to be a significant predictor of female police officer stress (Morash et al. 2006). When the Police Foundation conducted its experiment beginning in 1972, women com-prised only 2 percent of the uniformed police force in the United States. This percentage increased to 4.2 percent by 1978, and to 8.8 percent by 1986. Susan Martin conducted a follow-up study for the Police Foundation in 1987. The goal of the follow-up study was to assess the progress and changes that had occurred for women in policing since the original study. A mail survey was sent to all state and local police agencies in cities with populations over 50,000. In addition, case studies were completed for five major police departments in cities with populations over 100,000: Birmingham, Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Martin (1990) found that the implementation of the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act occurred gradually during the 1970s, due in part to the large number of civil cases filed against police agencies for sex dis-crimination. By the end of the 1970s, most police agencies had abandoned the minimum height and weight selection requirements, and many departments had in place affirmative action plans. Despite the rise in the number of female police officers across the country, women still occupied a small percentage of the police labor force. This was especially true for supervisory ranks where women made up only 3 percent of these positions. According to Martin, there did not appear to be any widespread discrimination against women in hiring practices. Female officers did, however, have higher turnover rates compared to men. Possible reasons included unrealistic job expectations and rotating shifts. Performance evaluations were comparable for men and women despite the fact that women tended to be evaluated differently. Women were still less likely than men to be assigned to patrol and were more likely to use sick leave. According to the National Center for Women and Policing, women make up less than 13
percent of all sworn law enforcement personnel in the United States (among agencies with 100 or more officers). The increase in female police officers has resulted in several comparison stud-ies examining sex differences in attitudes, job performance, and decision making, and related research continues to challenge commonly held assumptions. For example, Megan Alderden and Sarah Ullman (2012) hypothesized that female officers would be more inclined to arrest in sexual assault cases even controlling for several legal predictors of arrest (e.g., injury, use of a weapon). They discovered that females were less likely to arrest suspects of sexual assault. Police agencies that recruit females may believe that women demonstrate a greater sensitivity towards female victims, but this is not always true (Alderden and Ullman 2012). On the other hand, there is evidence that female police officers demonstrate better interviewing skills with rape victims and that these skills may in fact stem from females being less likely than males to subscribe to certain “rape myths” (e.g., all women secretly want to be raped) (Rich and Seffrin 2012). While progress has been made in recruiting more females into policing, women continue
to face difficulty with advancement in the profession. As of 2004, over half of all large police agencies had no women in their top command positions and only one percent of police chiefs in the US were women (Schulz 2004). Carol Archbold and Kimberly Hassell (2009) found that many female officers choose not to participate in the promotion process within their agencies. Female officers reported family responsibilities and satisfaction with their current position as reasons for not seeking advancement. Many departments with the aim of increasing their female police force are faced with
difficulties in recruitment. Police work continues to be viewed as masculine and physically strenuous despite the fact that, in the current era of community policing, communication and problem solving are the desired traits of a police officer. Several studies have suggested that females are effective communicators and that many segments of community populations have expressed a preference for female police officers (Sulton and Townsey 1981). Numerous studies have also shown women to be less aggressive and less inclined to use force against the public (Bazley et al. 2007, Brandl et al. 2001, Grennan 1987 ). Research continues to document the valuable contribu-tions made by female police officers. Departments that are active in the recruitment and retention of female police officers provide many benefits to the communities in which they serve.
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