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The evolution of policing in America has changed dramatically

Categories America, Change, Evolution, Gender, Police, Police Brutality, Society, State

Essay, Pages 12 (2787 words)



Essay, Pages 12 (2787 words)

The evolution of policing in America has changed dramatically throughout history. Police in America protect citizens and property, and also have several departments in order to address any issue which might arise. The job of police should not be overlooked but there several issues which still need to be addressed. For several decades prior to 2000, police jobs in America were mostly white males, while neither women or minority groups were “suitable” for the job. Women especially were looked down upon and not able to join and protect citizens and property in their own country.

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From when policing was created in America, the city watchers, and the first uniformed police officers, it was predominantly males. The major issues women were looked down upon in policing was strength, and agility. Therefore it perceived as a male job. A few problems for women in policing were looked at and changed with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act gave stopped discrimination based on sex.

Therefore women should have been given equal opportunity as men to be able to join a police department.

From 1997 to 2007 America’s economy was not at full strength. Even though America was not doing well over eight billion dollars was spent on improving policing in America This was taxpayer money which wasn’t used to make sure women had an equal chance of getting a job which a man has usually had for decades. The low amount of money which went into police training surprised a lot of advocates. This action showed that police training and fair treatment for the trainees was something which officials didn’t believe to be important.

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Issues which could of been addressed with taxpayer money could of been sexual harassment for females and males in the academy and on the job, the idea behind excessive force, and according to Olga Bykov the ideas of “white supremacists” which is common in police academies.

While money has not been given to the police academies, graduates which come out of the academy are not prepared for real life encounters. Graduates have not been given exact lessons and practiced actions which they might come across in the real world. Therefore a police officer will report to a crime scene, a women in labor, a dying man, or a child having a spaz attack and the officer is useless. Just like the people watching and telling the police officer will not be able to do anything because it was not practiced in the academy. The officer will not know what to say, who to call, or what to do. This is another reason other that goes along with gender discrimination in police academies. There is one common denominator in all these injustices, since money has not been given to academies, more and more things begin to be affected.

Literature Review

Academies actually need money to keep evolving and updating to future research and ideas. A problem in academies is that the ideas of race and gender are outdated and expired. They reflect conservative ideas which involve white males to be the dominants to have jobs as police officers. According to Olga, “In 1970, 2% of all officers were women.” This statement is important because this is after the Civil Right Act. So even after the Civil Right Act said that people could not discriminate or not give a job because of race, gender, religion, etc women still were not given a equal chance to become police officers. The statement which is even more frightening is that within the past 20 years, 1999-2019 the number of 2% has raised to 10%. This is something which we should be ashamed of. From these 10% which are in law enforcement only few of them hold senior positions or even high ranked jobs.

The women which cannot advanced into the field of law enforcement are constantly facing discrimination and they are believed to not be able to advance. One major excuse which is used for women not wanting jobs in the police department is that women do not want to join law enforcement jobs. This is not true because their is no motivation or concern that gender is an issue of police department around America. If there is no excuse involving gender then why are there only 10% of police jobs in America owned by women. This is something which needs to get addressed and must be fixed or changed.

A study was performed (Raganella and White,2004) which explained motivations of females and males in policing. Both men and women had the same four top answers. This meant that women didn’t join the job looking for something different than men. They did it in order to advance in life, early retirement, salary, and power and authority. This meant that men didn’t have different answers than women. So then why isn’t there a 50-50 ratio of women and men in the police department? Is this why women have such a hard time joining a historically male dominated job?

In the police academy, (Wilson and Buckler, 2010) the history of policing, original viewpoints are showed to the recruits. Some of these viewpoints may involve stereotypes against women. The purpose of showing the history of policing is ironically how policing has been better over the years. For example one program used a police tv show in order to teach recruits. The problem with doing this is that the people in the show are using expressions and actions which should not be done on the job. The intense masculinity in the show and the racism in the how is something the recruits and future police officers should not be seeing. If they are then thy will be influenced and taught to act in this certain way and then more and more problems occur. If there are more police officers like this then it just adds to the tension between the public and the police officers. We will not be able to work together in order to make sure everyone is being treated correctly and with respect.

Also a lot of these tv shows usually have people that are drunk or high or something that viewers want to see. The viewers want to see a police officer tasing a person or they want to see a police officer taking a guy trying to run away. This is what sells and what people want to watch. They also want to see yelling, cursing, and screaming. The problem with academies teaching with this police tv show is that in this particular case there was negative attitudes towards women and very masculine attitudes. This is another reason women would not be attracted to do this type of work. This is a reason male views and attitudes will never allow women to have an equal chance to succeed in this field.

In this same class after the video was showed to the recruits, a study showed that women of color couldn’t share their stories with 95 police officers. Their stories were not wanted by the police officers. “Verbal and nonverbal” (Huisman, 2005) is exactly what the witnesses said about when they were met with flack due to the topic they were talking about.

Since this inequality is started from the bottom of the ladder it is taught all the way through and therefore it is carried into the community. Once it is carried into the community it is on another level because this is when people get hurt. Even though it just being in the academy is bad enough it is on a different level once it spreads into the community.

Another problem that women have to deal continues outside of the police academy. After they have graduated from the academy women are faced with stereotypes that have been introduced to men through the police academy. Most police departments in America are stuck on the idea of police officers as crime stoppers who are white, masculine, and aggressive. We cannot really see this in New York City and the New York Police Department because we live in such a diverse city with over eight million civilians. So for the NYPD to act this way and put forward this it would cause problems in such a huge city made up of every ethnicity and race. If you were to travel to other police departments in America you can see this. The NYPD is made up of over 35,000 officers while departments around America might have less than 10 officers. This is departments where you can see this philosophy of white, aggressive, masculine officers.

Once women begin to work on the streets, they are labeled as “butch”, “dyke”, or “weak” (Rabe-Hemp, 2008). Since women do not really might back, and cannot because they are so outnumbered, this is a regular occurance. Other reason not only women but men cannot fight against something they think is wrong or not equal is that police departments in New York City and America are paramilitary. This meaning that it organized every similar to the military and it zero tolerance. So basically do what you are told. People who join are expected to follow the commands and authority.

The next major inequality that women have to deal with that men don’t really have to is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be present in any profession that involves women. It can happen with men but not as much as with women. Verbal harassment by people in charge or men police officers can also be an issue. Women only represent 6% of officers in small towns or cities and are usually in low ranks even more then in big cities. This meaning that they are disrespected and are not given the same promotions that men are given.

Research Question

The research question based on the inequalities in police academies is how past and present protocols which have been introduced in police academies have affected issues in gender and mostly women in police departments. With the help of statistical data of women being underappreciated, under valued, underfunded, and underestimated. My question is how gender, which is one variable and how police academy practices are related. This has to do with what is the cause and effect of gender and the police academy. What is the relationship? What does one offer for the other and vise versa?

Research Methodology

Since variables are logical groupings of attributes, the variables in this experiment are various. Gender is one because research is done to see how the attributes of male and female training is different. hyper-masculine training and attitudes are present in academies. The variable of gender is what the experiment is built on so it is the most important one. Gender is what is giving rise to the need of evaluation in order to promote gender equality. (Bykov, 2014)

Another variable in the article is police academy practices. Since variables are the titles and attributes are the subtitles or the facts that make up the variables the main topic is academy practices. The attributes of this section are the San Jose FTO model, the Cadets Corps., and other models or groups which are formed to benefit police training.

One last variable is training. There are major differences in statistics between men and women. Variables of women in training to discuss how their are major differences in men and women in police. For example, one part of it states that a class of recruits was taught with the TV show COPS. The women in the show got her boyfriend taken away while she was cursing at the cops in the show. This is an example of a instance where an experience might relate more to a male. This is an example where a woman might feel confused for uncomfortable. Says “Women’s progress is continuously stunted as men’s attitudes and skepticism prevent equality in the occupation.” (Bykov, 2014)

Population is the group of people who we want to be able to draw conclusions. In this case it is the women who are being mistreated in the police academies and in policing in general. Another population can be the police officials who run or organize the academies. These people are who are in charge of what the recruits learn and what they are taught. Also how they are taught it also very important.

Research Design

The research design first explains the introduction of policing. If you do not have the historical background you will not be able to understand the information from which all of this started from. First explaining how the history of police academies has changed for both males and females. Then the background and the topic focuses on females in academies and how they are treated, taught, and thought to be different then males. It uses the history and some statistical information in order to support the thesis statement. Key moments in history like 9/11, August Vollmers reformation and the creation of FTO programs and Cadet Corps in order to show how policing has evolved in general but has stayed the same for women on the job. Observations of statistical data like how many women are on the job now, 10% and in smaller counties and cities as low as 6%. In depth interviews with women on the job and also anonymous surveys into people in police academies around America.


The risks which come along with something which police officials have attempted to keep surprised is very hard to prove. The reason is that the police department will not show what is has been doing wrong or unfairly since the time they were created. I understand males dominated the job from the time policing was created in America up until the 1950s but not further from that year. Since that year we have fought wars which women have helped tremendously in production and keeping families together back home. I am outraged to be living in a world where its 2019 and their is a profession which is unwanted of women and has 10% of their employees which are not men. The risks which come along with this research is that women or men will not tell the truth on interviews or on surveys. That isn’t only based on our topic but can happen on any topic. Some might be lazy, scared to answer truthfully or just lie to show that they are fine. Like I said earlier, these can be risks along with the departments just not telling the truth about what they have been doing for decades. Lastly, they might show to the public that they are working with all genders, races, and all communities but the statistics show otherwise. When it comes to confidential issues all my research has been anonymous in order to protect the person being interviewed. The person’s thoughts and statements are very important to be anonymous and not have names attached to them. The surveys do not have names on them and the questionnaire are attached with statement which the person must sign which shows they are protected.

Policy Implications

With the exposure of these injustices and prejustices in police academies it might have an affect on the people which run them. The commanders, precinct advisors, academy officials, and virtually everyone in the police academies except the recruits should be held accountable. They allowed this to happen and no one fought for any changes to allow women to have an equal chance to live out her dream of becoming a police officer. As i said earlier, this still an issue here in New York City, with 10% women representation, but it is worse as you leave these highly populated areas. Also New York City has a high minority and women population so it helps the more voices that there are. So the policy implications would be severely changed with the exposure of the police departments here in America.


  1. Belcher, Ellen(2019,January,16) NYPD historical and Current Research:NYPD Annual reports and statistics. Retried from
  2. Burke, R. Richardsen, A. & Martinussen, M. (2006). Gender differences in policing: reasons for optimism? International Journal of Police Strategies & Management,
  3. Bykov, Olga.,(2014).Police academy training: An evaluation of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Police Academies.
  4. Essays, UK. (November 2018). Women in the police force. Retrieved from
  5. Huisman, K., Martinez, J., & Wilson, C. (2005). Training police officers on domestic violence and racism: Challenges and strategies. Violence Against Women,
  6. Raganella, A.J., & White, M.D. (2004). Race, gender, and motivation for becoming a police officer: Implications for building a representative police department. Journal of Criminal Justice,
  7. Wilson, S., & Buckler, K. (2010). The debate over police reform: Examining minority support for citizen oversight and resistance by police unions. American Journal of Criminal Justice,

Cite this essay

The evolution of policing in America has changed dramatically. (2019, Dec 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-evolution-of-policing-in-america-has-changed-dramatically-example-essay

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