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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81778 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Progress Report on Women in Policing
Author(s): C G Sulton; R D Townsey
Corporate Author: Police Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 113
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Police Foundation
Washington, DC 20036
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-DF-AX-0111
Sale Source: Police Foundation
1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explores policewomen's employment in State and municipal departments nationwide. In addition, it also surveys administrative and personnel practices.
Abstract: The research was designed to determine how much conditions have changed for policewomen since 1972. Data were gathered through a literature review, including legislation and court decisions; case studies of 5 major city police departments (Detroit, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Washington, D.C.); and a national survey of 450 State and municipal law enforcement agencies. Findings indicate that women's role in policing has evolved from social workers charged with handling female and child victims and offenders to full-fledged law enforcement officers. Not until the 1960's did female officers perform the full range of duties, and only after the passage of the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act did the number and percentage of female police officers increase significantly. In 1979 women constituted 3.38 percent of municipal and 1.02 percent of State officers. Departments serving populations of 500,000 or more have fewer female officer than would be expected, and the South and West have significantly larger proportions of female officers than the North Central or Northeast regions. Discriminatory personnel practices such as differential height and low maximum age requirements have diminished. Male-oriented recruitment practices have been reduced, and advertising stategies directed toward women are expected to attract them. Few departments maintain previous discriminatory practices such as separate eligibility lists for initial selection and promotion, separate training, and differential promotion criteria. However, certain police departments follow some discriminatory personnel practices. These include unstructured oral interviews, improperly implemented veterans' preference standards, unvalidated physical agility tests, denial of pregnancy and maternity benefits, assignment of women to desk jobs, and lack of grievance mechanisms for sexual harassment. The authors see the challenge for the 1980's as the abolition of existing barriers to the promotion of female police officers to policymaking positions. References, tables, and a bibliography of about 70 citations are provided. A list of participants in the research interview pool, indexes of principal litigation and key legislation, details of case studies, and a copy of the survey instrument are appended.
Index Term(s): Equal opportunity employment; Personnel promotion; Personnel selection; Police recruits; Police women; Sex discrimination
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