Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-30-02

Number of Women in Policing Decreasing; Enormous Gender Gap Found in Rate of Police Brutality

National Center for Women & Policing Releases New Studies Showing Number of Women in Policing Decreasing; Enormous Gender Gap Found in Rate of Police Brutality

Gender Balance in Law Enforcement Urged at the Kick-off of Annual Conference of Women Police Leaders

Washington, DC – For the second consecutive year, the number of women in policing has declined, according to the latest survey conducted by the National Center for Women & Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation. The new survey, Equality Denied: The Status of Women in Policing 2001, analyzed data from a stratified random sample of 360 agencies from throughout the U.S., and is the fifth annual study conducted by the NCWP to gauge the status and growth of women in law enforcement. The percentage of women in police agencies with 100 or more sworn officers remains small in 2001 at 12.7%, and registered a decrease from 14.3% in 1999.

“The fact that the percentage of women in law enforcement is decreasing is alarming,” said Margaret Moore, Director of the National Center and the highest-ranking woman ever to have served in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). “Not only is there a smaller percentage of women in policing, but women are virtually absent at the highest ranks of law enforcement, holding only 7.3% of top command positions,” continued Moore. “In fact, more than half (55.9%) of large agencies surveyed report no women in top command.”

“Widespread bias in police hiring, selection policies and recruitment practices keeps the numbers of women in law enforcement artificially low,” continued Moore. “And once on the job, women often face discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and are maliciously thwarted in their attempts to move up the ranks. At the present rate of growth, women will not achieve equality in police agencies for several generations, if ever,” concluded Moore.

“The cut back in affirmative action and the loss of consent decrees mandating the hiring and/or promotion of women and minorities has begun to reverse the very modest gains women made in policing over the last thirty years,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, the parent organization of the National Center for Women & Policing. Of the 247 agencies responding to this year’s survey, 40 indicated that they had once been under a consent decree for hiring women and/or minorities, but only 22 of those hiring decrees currently remain in effect. Citing the Department of Justice’s recent decision to withdraw from the Lanning v. South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) case challenging discriminatory hiring tests, Smeal observed, “Without the willingness of the Department of Justice to bring lawsuits and negotiate consent decrees
to remedy discriminatory hiring practices by law enforcement agencies, the percentage of women in law enforcement will likely decrease further.”

A companion survey of a random sample of 384 smaller law enforcement agencies with fewer than 100 sworn personnel found that women comprise an even lower 8.1% of all officers, and hold only 3.4% of all top command positions. For these smaller and rural agencies, 97.4% have no women in top command. The survey of smaller agencies was conducted in conjunction with the Justice and Safety Center at Eastern Kentucky University.

“The under-representation of women in law enforcement has tremendous implications for communities served, especially for combating violence against women,” continued Smeal. “Female officers report greater support for the principles of community policing in comparison with their male colleagues, and female officers also respond more effectively to cases of domestic violence – which account for up to half of all violent crime calls to police agencies.”

Bolstering earlier research showing significant differences between male and female officer involvement in excessive force incidents, the National Center for Women

Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/20/2015 Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government - President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani. . . .
 
4/17/2015 Senate Passes Compromise Bill Increasing Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only Sex Education - The Senate overwhelmingly approved of HR 2 on Tuesday, a $200 billion package that included an enormous increase of federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) curricula. The US Senate voted 92-8 to pass HR 2, which has been known as the "doc fix" for Medicaid reimbursement rates, as well as many other health care provisions. . . .
 
4/16/2015 March2Justice Protesters Embark on 250-Mile March to Protest Police Brutality - Marchers are ending an eight-day journey across 250 miles and five states to deliver anti-profiling and police-force-militarization legislation from New York City to Washington, D.C. . . .