Last Updated 13 Apr 2020

Women and Minorities in Law Enforcement

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Women and Minorities in Law Enforcement Response Throughout policing history women and minorities have gone through so many changes as they tried to become law enforcers. In the beginning, when women and minorities were allowed to become police officers they would be hired but given lighter duties or assigned to lower crime areas. They weren’t given much opportunity to go out and experience first hand how everything was on the streets since the majority of law enforcers back then were males.

They worked more as social workers and it took a long time for them to be out on the streets fighting off crime. Over time their role in law enforcement has changed dramatically, back then they weren’t allowed to have higher ranks or work out on the field or basically do any job that was considered a men’s job (due to physical strength or upper body strength that men had and women didn’t). As time went on they were allowed to have higher ranks and given more opportunities, they were allowed to do what most male officers were doing at the time. There were associations made for women and minorities.

One such association mentioned in the book is called: The International Association of Policewomen. Laws were created as well to enforce the hiring of racial and gender minorities as well as affirmative action policies. Affirmative action policies required that police departments create more than equal opportunities for everyone. They pressed that the police departments should hire minorities. Affirmative action basically ensured that those who had previously been excluded from particular types of employment would now have the access to those jobs.

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All law enforcement agencies that didn’t follow the affirmative action policies would face civil suits from the individuals who were denied that job. The hiring of minorities and women changed the role of modern policing as everything had to be changed to give way to minorities and women. For example: Physical agility tests and Written tests. As mentioned in the book: Policewomen and policemen are different in three key areas; policewomen do not draw their weapons as frequently; they use less physical force; and they are better at handling domestic violence calls. Grant & Terny, 2008) The positive things about this integration are that many acts were made that required equal opportunities for women and minorities. Also, the police force no longer consisted of just men but women as well and so whenever there are victims that are women the female police officers could talk to them and they’d be a lot more comfortable to release information. As well as when they are going to be searched. People of different ethnic backgrounds made it now possible as well to talk to certain victims who didn’t know the English language.

The negatives are that many things had to be changed in the force, from physical agility tests to written tests, and even how things are done in a department because of this integration. Sexual harassment in the workplace became an issue; there were so many debates to whether women could perform jobs. Also women were looked at negatively and as not being able to perform the job, they were usually harassed or talked down upon by victims being arrested. The importance of women in policing should not be overlooked because they bring huge changes to every police department and are intelligent people.

They are willing to refrain from pulling out their guns to resolve an issue and really do try their best to resolve it by talking to the individual. They have better communication skills and are less aggressive and I feel they are more responsible. In conclusion, the integration of minorities and women has changed so much for law enforcement and in so many ways it made it better because it’s only fair that all different races and people of different backgrounds were allowed to become a police officer if they met the requirements. Women or men alike can help keep our communities safe if they work together.

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