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
A Simple Idea for Police Woes: More Female Cops
File photo of New Jersey State Police applicants.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

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. (More police officers stories.)

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