Why Are So Few Women Working In Law Enforcement?


A federal drug agent gets a badge, and is trained to shoot, kick in doors and slap on handcuffs. Yet often, it is the smarter agent, not the stronger one, who catches the bad guy, says the Houston Chronicle. “It is brains, not just brawn,” said Violet Szeleczky, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and recruiter. She wants to boost the number of women who might otherwise shy away from a career with the DEA, which is 91 percent male. The Houston Police Department, 86 percent male, recently unveiled advertising that features images of female officers and testimonials posted on the Web.

The police effort to attract women seems to be yielding results. In the current fiscal year, 903 of 4,460 applicants have been female. Larry Karson, a University of Houston criminal justice lecturer and retired U.S. Customs Service agent, said bringing more women into law enforcement isn’t about meeting quotas, but rather improving the ability of agencies and departments to do their jobs. Enforcing the law is not all about wild chases, shootouts and wrestling people in the streets, Karson said. “You watch TV at night, and that is what you are seeing,” he said. “You don’t see anyone doing paperwork; you don’t see them doing interviews or extensive, long-term investigations.”

Link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6144080.html

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