Equality for Women in Policing
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For hundreds of years, women have struggled with being held equal to men in both employment positions and pay. The reality of men and women working side by side in the same career fields and making less money seems to be a constantly repetitive cycle. Women entered the policing field in the early 1900’s and struggle to receive recognition for their contributions to this very day. In the 21st century, women are still facing the same type of discrimination. While held to the same standards as their male counterparts, women in many fields, including policing, are still not treated equally, in either monetary compensation or positions. Based on Horne (2006), “Policewomen are still overwhelmingly employed in the lowest tier of sworn law enforcement positions (police officer, deputy sheriff, or trooper)” (para. 8). Women police officers bring a needed component to policing in that most have a more compassionate approach to high-stress situations and are often able to use verbal judo to talk down a potentially dangerous suspect, instead of having to resort to physicality. While having the innate ability to calm situations before they get to a point of violence is commendable, it should not be the only thing women are recognized for and certainly should not be the basis for hiring selection, compensation, or advancement opportunities. Departments nationwide should recognize the value and diversity women bring to the law enforcement dynamic and work more towards affording them the same advancement opportunities as their male counterparts, based on their qualifications and for no other reason, perceived or not.