Are We Ignoring an Easy Fix to Police Woes?
Proponents call for more female officers
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2016 9:55 AM CDT
File photo of New Jersey State Police applicants.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Newser) – On the heels of a damning report showing discrimination and sexism in the Baltimore Police Department, women’s groups are calling for what they say is a logical solution: more female cops. Among other things, they argue that accusations of rape and sexual assault would be better addressed if handled by female officers, who represent just 13% of cops nationwide, reports GlobalPost. The Baltimore report, for example, showed that police there tested less than 15% of rape kits and sometimes referred to victims as "whores." Jay Newton-Small at Time made the case for more female officers last month, arguing studies show they "almost never use excessive force," "draw their weapons less, tend to look for non-physical solutions, and are much better at community outreach."

They also are rarely the subject of expensive lawsuits or investigations, Newton-Small writes. The National Center for Women and Policing argued the same in a 2003 report, adding that female officers "often respond more effectively to incidents of violence against women, a crime that represents approximately half of all violent crime calls to police," and "[reduce] problems of sex discrimination and harassment within a law enforcement agency." Meanwhile, the US government will spend $133 million next year to recruit, train, and hire female officers in nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, and proponents want the same effort expended in the US.