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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Women in Policing

First Female Police Officer in the USA or the World on record.

When you read this article link imagine the women of today.  Not much is really that different.  The EEO Act only just started forcing agencies in the United States to hire women in the 1970's.  Their acceptance today in some agencies among their peers is still a struggle.  Many times the agency overlooks women when (especially if that agency has so few) when it comes to special protective gear in the line of work and even training.

Shoot, my agency still has issued men's 511 pants for me even though I pointed out to them years ago that they do come in women's sizes.  Do the men's pants fit?  Hell no! So, instead of them ordering them in women's I had to go out and pay $50 so that I wouldn't be out of uniform if and when I had to wear them.  When they issued everyone boots years ago I requested a size 6 in women's clearly on the form.  They gave me a 6 in men's. They told me when I pointed that out that the boots they ordered only came in men's that they didn't have the small enough size equivalent to a women's size 6.  So, I gave them to Goodwill and just used my own that I paid over $100 for.

I'm not here to gripe about all the harassment and discrimination I've received over the years.  Lord knows that I had lots of it including being forced to take leave without pay for having children.  All the times I pumped breast milk in bathrooms and airplanes to see it trashed just to keep my milk up and breast from exploding.  The vanity mirrors being smashed in patrol vehicles and stating the "Donna was here."  "Blanca was here".  Many more countless situations that I'd rather just not go into.....

I am proud of what I've accomplished.  I had to have two degrees to break into my field unlike my H.S. Diploma male counterparts and go through the same standards years ago in a federal academy as them.  However, women deserve the recognition of the struggles that they endure for the love of the field and the patriotism they have.

I love my job and what it means when I come home and know that I kept people safe that day.  I also love the fact that I did come home (or to a hotel) safe that day.  I also love my supportive husband and two beautiful little girls who just don't understand why mommy is gone for days at a time every week.  That is what hurts me the most. The guilt is killing me but I go on because I know that I'll be done in 7 years when I'm eligible for retirement.  I'll be home with my family and lord have mercy on my daughter's boyfriends!  I plan on being the stalking mom from hell!

I have the most loving and understanding husband around.  Maybe that's because he was in the Navy Seabees his entire adult life.  He's a great guy.  I really couldn't imagine being a single parent in my line of work.  I'm not the typical cop.  Every day my hours are different and every week my days off are different.  I don't come home everyday and I'd say that is really tough on our marriage.  My husband says it's like he is a single parent.  However, we love each other tremendously and are both very stubborn people.  So, we make it work!

Poor guy, he's usually the only male spouse at most of my work social gatherings.  However, there are more male spouses showing up with the handful of women there are in my agency's local field office.  He's lead the way for them and I only hope and pray the others have as much patience, loyalty and understanding as my own.

For more information on women in policing go to the links below:
Women In Policing
Women In Law Enforcement
National Center for Women & Policing
Myth & Facts About Women in Policing
Women In Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
Women In Policing by Danielle Flanagan, West Texas A&M University
If you have any experiences you'd like to share as a female in the law enforcement field or as a supportive male spouse please comment below.  I'd love to hear about you!

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