5 Reasons Why We Need More Female Cops





More Female Cops Will Benefit American Policing

I know that some of my brothers in blue will call me a sell-out for promoting the need for more female cops and I don’t care. I have been doing the job long enough to know better.

We need more female cops.

Policing in America is at a crossroad. Agencies are losing officers in record numbers. I will not insult anyone’s intelligence by explaining the major causes. The bottom line is we need more qualified applicants.

One demographic that has been largely ignored are females. Now before you start labeling me as a feminist sympathizer, stop.

Confession:  When I first started out, I had the typical male macho opinion that females were not suited for law enforcement. Over time and as I rose in rank, my attitude changed.

The change started to take hold during my time as a detective then later as a patrol supervisor. I started noticing that female cops have certain skills and attributes in the way they “police” that male cops don’t have.

Here is a video that shows how differently male and female cops deal with a missing girl call:


This is by no means an affront to male cops. And this article in no way gives a pass to those cops, male or female, that are terrible at the job.

The following reasons are those that I have personally observed over my career. This is not an exhaustive list but a snapshot of what positive attributes female cops bring to the job.

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1. They are really good at de-escalation.

One part of the job that most cops hate are domestic dispute calls.

Cops are usually called to these complaints as a last resort. Tempers on all sides are typically heightened and some escalate to physical violence. How the officers react to these situations and treat the parties involved has a great impact on de-escalating the complaint

The term “de-escalate” has been the hot buzz word in law enforcement recently. For cops, it isn’t really anything new; ten years ago we called it “verbal judo”. Every cop will tell you of that particular officer who will escalate any call they go to into a shit sandwich. Believe it or not, 99.9 percent of us would rather not have to fight you if possible.

In my career, I don’t recall any female cops, not one, that would fall into this category.

Male cops? Well that’s a different story.

Back in the day (yes, I just wrote that) when I started in police work, the vast majority of senior male officers that I worked with would go from “0 to fight” in no time!

female cop

One of my female cops after foot pursuit

And I would be lying if I weren’t guilty of this on occasion as well. You see, when I started over two decades ago, respect was primarily earned in how well you could handle yourself on the street. Most of the time, these confrontations could have been avoided.

Female cops, by their nature, take a less combative tact when dealing with irate or agitated individuals.

I have seen female cops display this on many occasions, especially when dealing with those in a mental health crisis situation.

2. They don’t let their ego’s get them in trouble.

Cops are type A.

They are go-getters. The ones who will take a bullet for a complete stranger. Winners.

With enormously big egos.

Can you blame them? Any job that requires that you carry an arsenal of weapons while wearing a bullet-proof vest requires this at a minimum. Because of this competitive streak, many male officers, to include myself, find it hard to check themselves when they know they should.


I have seen numerous examples of this on the street, both as a Patrolman and a Sergeant. It usually involves a cop getting his ego bruised by the words or actions of a citizen that then snowballs.

Look, we are all human. Cops, both male and female, feel hurt and pain like everyone else. Female cops, in my observation over the years, have the distinct ability to calm a situation and bring a non-violent closure to a call.

 3. Female officers are just better at report writing.

I remember being 17 years old and in absolute awe of the United States Marine Corps!

My first encounter with a Marine Recruiter at my high school had me hooked.

He had me believing that I would be wearing Dress Blues on a daily basis and travelling the world.

He nailed the second part! Not so much the first.

My assumptions about police work prior to being hired were similar. Shows like “Cops” romanticized police work as “running and gunning” and putting bad people in jail.

Not entirely accurate.

Yes, there are times when we get to play hero and save the day. Most of the time is covered with boredom and lots of paperwork.

Lots and lots of paperwork. And more paperwork..  

As an officer, detective, and supervisor, I have written or reviewed thousands upon thousands of reports. I have seen reports ranging from 2nd grade level to T.S. Eliot. Crime reports are probably the most important aspect of policing (other than going home each night). A report is not only a direct representation of the officers ability to write, but a permanent record of what happened.

By and large, female cops take better reports than their male counterparts.



4. They are better talkers.

Police work is 95 percent verbal communication skills. Do I really need to explain further?

5. They can relate better to minority and “special victims”.

This is in no way an attempt to rank or discount one groups struggles versus another.

We have already experienced far too much division in our country.

Being in a male dominated profession allows the female cop to have a better understanding and empathy to those she serves. They are especially needed when calls for sexual assault are investigated. In some cases, the female victim is so distraught that she will only talk with a female officer or detective.


Also, because of their nurturing attribute, they are better received generally by those “special victim’s” who may feel shame or guilt over what was done to them.


Some of you have reached out and want to share your story with others. A blog like this one is a great way to reach those who could benefit from your experience and interests. Blogging has changed my perspective and my life.

It could do the same for you.

I highly recommend HostGatorwhich in my opinion is the simplest and fastest way to get you started on your blogging journey. If you have any questions about starting a blog or a website, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly at bart@familysafefirst.com.


Note: My hope for this article is to bring awareness to those females who may be interested in a career in law enforcement. If you have any questions about what I have presented or have other questions about police work in general, feel free to message me here or through Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you and as always, be safe and look out for one another. – Bart





A 23-year veteran police officer, Bart spent time as a patrolmen and a violent crimes detective (specialized in strategic intelligence and research analysis). Aside from this experience in high profile case investigations, he has received training from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in Advanced Intelligence Analysis. Bart also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Strategic Intelligence (Magna Cum Laude) from Liberty University. As a father of four, husband and law enforcement officer, he wants to share his knowledge on safety with you. Bart is also a contributing writer for Law Enforcement Today.

21 Comments

  • Jenna November 22, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Bart, I have a few questions about becoming a female officer in law enforcement. Let me know when you are able to answer my questions. Thanks so much.

    Gratefully,

    Jenna

    Reply
    • Jenna November 22, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      My email would be the easiest place to reach me- jzulauf20@gmail.com

      Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Jenna,
      I am usually available in the evenings after 7pm and on my days off which fluctuate. My email is bart@familysafefirst.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Reply
  • Stephanie Crews November 23, 2016 at 10:12 am

    This is 100 % accurate. I was hired to a very small agency about 10 years ago and I was their fist female officer. After being the only fwmale for about six years we finally got aome good fwmale applicants and now we have four in patrol and I am the fifth as a sergeant.

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 23, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you Stephanie for the affirmation! It must have been difficult being the only female officer for that long. It looks like you have stayed the course and have found success. That speaks well of you. Good luck and as always be safe!

      Reply
  • Kelly November 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I just had this discussion with another female officer who is new to our environment. I wish more of our male counterparts were as understand as you Bart!

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 23, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I sincerely believe that female officers bring a unique skill set to the job and are an asset to any organization. Keep doing your thing and be safe!

      Reply
  • Amy Jones November 29, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Great message! Proud of your open mind!

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 29, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Thank You Amy! I hope everything is going well with you.

      Reply
  • Alice Thompson November 29, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Thank you so much Bart!! That was a well written article. I’ve been policing for 17 years in Alabama and am a firearms instructor as well as primary FTO. I love my job though instill get frustrated at times. Thank you for your support.

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 29, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Thank you Alice! We speak the same language. I too get frustrated, especially with all of the “use of force” experts out there blasting our profession in the media. I have a few female officers on my squad and I call them the “wonder girls” because they rock! Keep doing your thing and be safe!

      Reply
      • Alice Thompson November 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

        You’re right about them blasting LEO’s. It’s funny because the wife of a firefighter sent me the article. I’m part of our SWAT team as well and her husband (Lt with the fire dept) is the medic on our team. These are two really great people. I teared up the day she told me what she thought of me as a cop. It was important for me to hear what she said and kept me positive. Please take this as a hand shake of thanks through this message. And to all LEO’s, both female and male, let’s be super safe!!!

        Reply
        • Bart Proctor November 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          Thanks Alice. This is one article that I had been thinking of for some time when I started this blog. Everyone be safe and look out for one another!
          -Bart

          Reply
  • Loretta Obradovic November 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    well written and very knowledgeable account of excellent policing

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor November 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you Loretta! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Feel free to share with friends and family.
      -Bart

      Reply
  • Marilyn Woodall December 6, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Bart is one of our finest at HPD. I commend and appreciate his efforts in setting up Family Safe First. First hand info on the real deal and how things are really done in real life not tv drama. Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor December 6, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you Marilyn for the kind words! My hope is for people to see that cops are human like the rest of society and that we are all truly one family..

      Reply
  • Jessica Pearson January 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Wonderful!! You are right about this! Well done. Last week I was pulled over for expired registration by a female officer. She explained things so clearly and could tell I was nervous (it was 10 pm, my two kids were in the car, we were in a strange place…). Her demeanor put me at ease. I’m hoping more women want to serve their communities in this way.

    Reply
    • Bart Proctor January 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you Jessica! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Police agencies across the country are struggling to fill vacancies. Many females that I have talked to think that policing is exclusive to males. This just isn’t true. The female cops that work for me do a great job and I am glad I have them!

      Reply
  • David Flaa April 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Great article. I had a female patrol partner and a head full of doubts about women on patrol. She turned out to the best partner I ever worked with I my 30 year career. You hit the nail on the head with this article.

    Reply
    • Kimmie Whitlow Harrison April 30, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Finally a male responding to this article! Good job Bart, just wish more male officers would give their opinion on this piece. Be safe out there brothers.

      Reply

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