A handful of law enforcement agencies across the United States, including the Memphis Police Department and the New York State Police, among others, have recently joined more than 150 other agencies in taking a pledge to increase the representation of women in their ranks to 30% by 2030. The 30X30 Initiative is a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and police organizations who have come together to advance the representation and experiences of women in policing in the United States. According to a National Institute of Justice Special Report titled Women in Policing: Breaking Barriers and Blazing a Path, women in the United States make up more than half of the U.S. population, but fewer than 13% of law enforcement officers, and about 3% of police leaders. In New York, for example, only 11.6% of the New York State Police are women. According to the initiative, the under-representation of women in policing undermines public safety because research has shown that women in policing: “use less force and less excessive force; are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits; are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate; see better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases; and make fewer discretionary arrests.” The law enforcement agencies who join the initiative agree to fulfill certain conditions aside from increasing the representation of women. These include ensuring that policies and procedures are unbiased, promoting equitable hiring, retention, and promotion of women, ensuring that the police culture is inclusive, respectful, and supportive of women officer, and addressing intersectionality in all efforts.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Explain why addressing intersectionality is necessary to increase the representation and experiences of women in policing.
- Debate: According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, police work is about public service. Do you believe that law enforcement agencies are more effective when they have strong connections and reflect the diversity of the communities they serve?
- Poll: Law enforcement agencies should apply an intersectional lens when analyzing their culture and policies to better promote the creation of a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone. (Agree or Disagree).
- Short Answer: Discuss the conditions that law enforcement agencies agree to when signing the pledge.
Cover Image: iStock/kali9