Female Police Officers
History & Statistics of Female Cops & Officers

Female police officers have come a long way, but still face challenges. Learn the history of female cops, woman cop statistics & job related attitudes they face.

Sadly, female cops still have a difficult time being accepted in the law enforcement community today.

Even though social barriers have been lifted over the last century and women are now given the opportunity to work in fields that were once only open to men, many still frown upon their involvement.

It's a sad story, yes, but it's also a true one.

Female Police Officers: Progress Over the Years

Women cops have been around for a long time--much longer than you might think.

With Congress' passing of an anti-discriminatory act in 1972, women were finally able to legally become police officers. However, the record of the first female police officers in America was in 1905.

Still, the number of men who work as police officers far outweighs the number of women, and while the Civil Rights Act may say that they are equal in the eyes of the law, the division between them is great.

Women Police Officers and Job Related Attitudes

The history of female copsisn't exactly the cheeriest of subjects. From dealing with cool receptions to experiencing openly hostile incidents, women have yet to be truly accepted by the men in the male-dominated world of policing.

There have been countless studies undertaken by scientists and psychologists about the advancement of gender roles over the years and how far we've really come since the Stone Age. In almost all cases, professionals have found that while today's society is less publicly hostile towards the fairer sex than it was in the early to middle twentieth century, it still harbors negative feelings in a more private manner. And this brewing of negative feelings is detrimental to progress for women cops.

Even though the number of women cops is steadily on the rise--and has been since the early 1970's--they still only make up a fraction of the number of men.

Until the numbers equal out a bit more and women hold just as many positions as men in any given department, the studies say that the resentment will continue. According to the scientists, it's just a matter of human nature (as ugly and abhorrent as it is).

Female Police Officers Statistics

In 1972, the average number of female cops in any given United States police department was steady at about 2%.

Over the years, it has risen approximately three to four percent every ten years. For 2010, the number of female cops in a US police department was just over 15%.

Here's a breakdown of rankings:

  • 15% of police officers are women
  • 9% of them are sergeants
  • 6% of them are lieutenants
  • 3% of them are captains
  • 4% of them are above the rank of captain

While this may be a great advancement in the female policing world, it is not enough. And the fear is that the numbers won't rise significantly until women are treated as equals.

That day should have come long ago. And one can only hope that we won't have to wait much longer.

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