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Woman in Law Enforcement - Term Paper Example

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Women in Law Enforcement
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Women’s numbers in the law enforcement agencies are not truly reflective of their true potential. …
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Download file to see previous pages It is strange to see that women compose around 46.5% of the total workforce yet their numbers in law enforcement agencies hover around 10%. This disparity is negatively affecting policing in particular and law enforcement in general. The numbers of women in law enforcement agencies has not registered a substantial increase in the last decade or so. A number of sociological and criminal justice problems are to blame for such a situation. In order to discern this problem better, it is pertinent to compare the trends of hiring women in law enforcement agencies historically and in the present scenario. This can be used to delineate the various sociological and criminal justice issues at work. A look at reasons to hire women law enforcement officers will offer great insight into the need for more women law enforcement agents. Historical and Modern Perspectives on Women in Law Enforcement Historical Developments Women have been employed in law enforcement since the 19th century in various positions in America. Historically, women were consigned to clerical tasks or were hired as dispatchers. This continued till the 1970’s when women were encouraged to take up law enforcement roles through myriad cop and detective shows in the media. Another major factor behind this development was the civil rights movement and the ensuing affirmative action laws that effectively paved women’s way into law enforcement agencies. ...
At this point in time, women furnish an estimated 12% of all positions in law enforcement agencies. Recent Trends A study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) over women’s role in law enforcement is very revealing of the actual situation on ground. The study was conducted between 1987 and 2008 and focuses on the participation of women in law enforcement. The report clearly indicates that the number of women officers sworn in law enforcement agencies increased very little in federal, state and local agencies. The trend analysis of some 53 law enforcement agencies revealed that the percentage of women officers was 14% in 1998 which went up to 15.2% in 2008 which represents a 1.2% increase in a 10 year period. This indicates an average increase rate of 0.12% annually which represents extremely slow growth. The largest increase in the number of women officers was witnessed in the USPIS (United States Postal Inspection Service) and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) which was some 7%. Both jobs are more clerical than field related. Furthermore, the U.S. Forest Service as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experienced a net decrease in the number of women officers which went down from 16.1% in 1998 to some 15.9% in 2008. Other than this the distribution of women law enforcement officers is significantly different for large law enforcement agencies versus small law enforcement agencies. (Langton) Women law enforcement officers accounted for 15% of the total within the larger police departments in 2007. In contrast, women law enforcement officers accounted for 13% of the total within the larger sheriff’s offices. On the other hand smaller law enforcement agencies with 1 to 10 full time officers are composed of 6% women only. Smaller ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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