Female Police Officer
A female police officer may undergo even more scrutiny or stress than her male counterparts.
Why? Let's face it, the Police subculture is still, in many ways, an old boys club...
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Police Departments nowadays are looking to diversify their ranks. They want a department that reflects the various cultures and people that they serve. They are also trying to increase
number of female officers.
With all the leaps and bounds that the Police have taken, there still remains that element of "macho cop bullshit". You see it in TV shows, movies, and as a cop, you'll see it in real life as well.
There are some that believe that police work should strictly be the domain of men, and that women have no business in this field. I personally disagree. I've worked with some good femaleofficers. I've also worked with some bad ones. It's the same with the guys- I've worked with some good male officers, and I've worked with some real idiot male officers too...
Regardless, if you are a female who is considering a career with the police, expect to be judged by some of the guys. I've found that it's usually the cowboy types who do this, and do this vocally.
I hear comments made regarding lack of size, strength, aggressiveness, etc. Don't pay any attention to it. If you show that you're a good cop, and you are there to work, you'll earn
the respect of your fellow officers.
Click here for stereotypes and difficulties faced by female officers
There's a chance that some of the guys won't give you your due no matter how well or how hard you work. Forget about them. You can only control you own actions.
I've actually found that the female police officers I've gone to calls with are actually better at de-escalating situations than some of the guys.
Now, this may sound sexist, and I'm not trying to offend, but I think that it's because females, generally speaking, are better at communicating than the average male. They are able to talk problems through rather than try to "overpower" with aggression which many male cops seem to do.
A female police officer may also be under the added pressure of trying to prove themselves not just to male officers, but the public in general.
Due to societal beliefs, it`s possible that women officers may not be taken as seriously as their male counterparts.
It could be for various reasons. Perhaps the size difference, (in general terms, men are larger and stronger than women), perceived lack of authoritative ability due to traditional gender roles, or ... other factors could also be involved.
I can recall attending a call on one occasion where we went to an apartment because the neighbors were complaining of a lot of yelling and arguing.
When we got there, we spoke to two brothers, both in their 30`s.
They were fairly new to the country (I only mention this because it was clear that attitudes toward women are different where they are both from).
I was partnered with a female officer at the time, and she began advising them as to why we were there, etc.
These two guys wouldn`t even look at her. They would answer her questions but would look at me when they were speaking.
I looked over at her and could tell that she was pissed.
I told the guys, `when an officer is talking to you, face them and show them some respect!`
They finally started answering her questions while facing her but I remember thinking that she was going to tear a major strip off both of em...but she kept her cool...
This is just one example, but a female police officer clearly has lots of issues that make policing a very unique experience.
Another point that may be worth mentioning is that although female officer's roles have evolved leaps and bounds over the years, there is still a bit of a "gap" when it comes to perceptions between male and female officers and how they react or perceive one another.
I've noticed that there are a couple female police officers where I work that try really hard to be "one of the guys", for lack of a better term.
They tell crude jokes, talk like truck drivers and tell war stories. There's nothing wrong with that - after all many male cops do exactly that.
But I'm noticing that some of the male officers are now getting tired of hearing the cussing and the stories from some of these female officers. It seems as though some of the guys feel like "talking shit" is just their realm, and don't want to yield that activity to female coppers.
I have to admit, it's a little strange (but pretty friggin funny) when I see these women talking the way they do, and push the envelope so far that some of the loud mouthed guys start feeling uncomfortable and look down at the floor.
I can't help but grin a little bit.
But I think the point I'm trying to make is that we all have to get along, and it's great to fit in. That makes our team even that much stronger...but, just be yourself.
Now, nobody expects a female officer to be "prissy" or "proper" in a traditional sense. They're just expected to do their job to the best of their ability - the same expectations that are held for the guys.
Sure, joke around, have fun and we'll all have that much of a better experience working with one another.
But be yourself.
Concerns About Becoming a Female Police Officer? Or do you have some tips?
Ever thought about becoming a female cop? What are your concerns? What are your attractions to it?
Or maybe you are a female police officer. Have anything you'd like to share with potential recruits?
Share you thoughts and ideas!
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