Women In Law Enforcement Complete Career Guide

Criminal Justice Career Guides

Women In Law Enforcement Complete Career Guide

In the early ’90s, the role of women in law enforcement agencies was limited. They only worked with children and women criminals and dealt with matters regarding them. The women role was limited because the number of female criminals or children was significantly less. Another responsibility of woman law enforcement personnel was to protect the female prisons and bureaus, but eventually, the tasks and duties changed.

If we explore women’s history in law enforcement, it dates back to 1972 when an amendment was passed mentioning that the law enforcement agencies shall not discriminate against individuals based on their genders.

This amendment opened the new door of employment for women in law enforcement agencies because more female law enforcement officers were recruited. Not just recruitment, but their role was also enhanced, and they could get promoted to the higher ranks within the law enforcement agencies.

As the number of females in law enforcement increased, research was conducted on females’ contribution to law enforcement agencies. The key findings of the research are mentioned below.

  • The women police officers LEOs were more effective in patrolling as compared to their male counterparts. The women officers intervened and prevented more violent protests as compared to male police officers. This could be due to society’s perception of the female as gender, and the male tends to avoid conflict in front of the women.
  • The conduct of women in the police was more discipline, and they tend not to take part in activities that could result in disciplinary violations.
  • The citizens who had contact with women in the police force were equally respectful with both genders. This helped the female police officers in performing their duties, which bearing on their gender.

Overall, the study shows that the women police are as effective as male police, and thus, there was no point in gender discrimination in law enforcement agencies.

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History Of Women In Law Enforcement Agencies

As mentioned previously, the women did take part in law enforcement agencies in the early 1990s, but their role was limited, and gender-based discrimination occurred within every law enforcement agency. At every ladder of law enforcement, women were treated differently. For example, the women were not given the duties given to the male officers, the academy training was different for police officer females, and they weren’t allowed to drive pursuit cars and shoot guns.

 If we explore the history of women in policing, we will come across different studies that show the role of women in policing started to evolve in the late 1990s, especially in the 1960s.

In the beginning, the role started to evolve as the women started to take part in undercover missions. On various occasions, the police officer woman was assigned a drug dealer, and they had to keep an eye on him. Even then, the lady officers were not awarded promotions as their male counterparts received, but the evolution was taking place until a group of lady officers was promoted as a test case in the New York police department.

This performance, which the group displayed, compelled the authorities to consider the police officer women, and thus an amendment was passed, which eliminated the gender based discrimination in law enforcement agencies.

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Percentage Of Women In Law Enforcement

Capt Edyth Totten and women police in 1918 in New York By Bain Collection – Library of Congress, Public Domain

Might people out there wondering about the percentage of female police officers in different agencies?

The statistics vary depending on which agency you look for, but the National centre for women & policing statistics tell that 15 percent of women in law enforcement agencies, which mean that if an agency has a total of 100 employees, 15 out of the 100 will be females which is quite a good number.

The stats do not remain similar in all the agencies, and the ones of big town might have 20 percent of lady employees while others of small towns and locality might be having 6 percent of police officers.

This progress is fifty years, but as time goes on, the process will evolve, increasing the number in the upcoming years. So the next time you face someone asking you what percentage of police officers are female, you must keep the information in your mind and reply accordingly.

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Benefits Of Women In Law Enforcement Agencies

The law enforcement jobs for women had proved beneficial for the agency as well as the individuals. The lady officers are capable of oral communication, dealing with creativity, and offering better solutions to conflicts. This has made them well in demand for jobs. On several occasions, the lady officers resolved the matters with so much efficiency which their male counterparts could have solved. The male officers have also admired the contribution of their female counterparts and praised them on several occasions.

This way, the agencies are also getting benefit from the woman police officer. The women police officers also contribute to society’s betterment while getting employed in prestigious law enforcement agencies.

Understandably, you might be assuming that being a female police officer is quite tricky a job, and thus you might be restraining yourself from the job; however, the recent developments show that the trends are changing, and lady officers are given much value.

Therefore, if you dreamt of becoming a lady officer, you need to hurry up and look for the agency you aspire to become an officer. If you are still in your educational career, you need to focus on your studies to gain the knowledge you must apply in your professional job.

Advice For Women Seeking A Career In Law Enforcement

Different lady officers were interviewed and asked what advice they would give to the females who want to become law enforcement agencies.

The officers responded that law enforcement agencies’ opportunities are continually growing, which must be compelling enough for policing women.

Not just the induction, the lady officers are also being promoted to senior ranks where they can enjoy the executive positions. “We may be gaining in presence. Nevertheless, I think we have a long way to go in developing future leaders,” said Jennifer Tejada, who is a Police chief in Emeryville, Calif.

The statement shows that there is much room for the lady officers, and they must be motivated to join the law enforcement agencies.

Some people might be comparing female officers vs. male officers, which is not the right comparison.

The lady officers have their roles and contributions while the male officers have their own. There are certain areas in which both can equally perform well. Thus, the comparison doesn’t withstand.

The best thing is that the discrimination is eliminated within the law enforcement agencies, and there exists no more sexism in law enforcement agencies in the United States.

The Interview Of A Lady Officer

The best advice can be given by an individual who has served in the law enforcement agency. Jennie Pierce, a lady who has served for 21 years in the police, was interviewed.

Her opinion must be of much value in bringing the fact and problems that she might have encountered while being an officer.

So, without any further due, let jump to the interview and see how her career went through.

The lady says that her training was of crucial importance for her, the lessons that she learned in her academy helped her throughout, and the officer says that many people might think that they can’t serve in the law enforcement agency because they think they are a weak creature.

However, the academies’ standard is so well maintained that there is no discrimination among the male officers and the females. The instructors don’t differentiate them and train both of them equally challenging.

When the lady joined the law enforcement agency, there were only nine female employees in the agency, but she served for twenty-four years and the number at the time of her retirement was 34.

The lady says that she commanded a division in the agency whose role was to assist the agency in policy measures and suggests the manuals for upcoming training years in the academy.

Some people have associated the betterment of law enforcement agencies with the hiring of female law enforcement officers. The people say that the more number of women will ensure that the matters are being resolved with more creativity; thus, the number of lady officers must be increased furthermore.


Some opportunities for a law enforcement officers are explained following-: 


This person carries out an investigation for private clients. The minimum qualification required to become a private investigator is a high school diploma. They earn $47000 approximately.


They drive truck containing water hoses to the fire breakout area. The minimum qualification required to become a firefighter is post-secondary non degree training. They earn $48000 approximately.

  • EMT/PARAMEDIC Officer  :

This person is trained to give medical assistance at the time of first aid. The minimum qualification required to become a paramedic officer post-secondary non degree training. They earn $32000 approximately.


This person is responsible to take care of safety, security, and safeguard of prisoners in jail. The minimum qualification required to become a correctional officer is a high school diploma. They earn $45000 approximately.


This person is responsible to take care of properties like office, apartment, etc. The minimum qualification required to become a security guard is a high school diploma. They earn $25000 approximately.


This person is responsible to solve critical cases related to crime. The minimum qualification required to become a detective is a high school diploma. They earn $75000 approximately.

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