National Center for Women & Policing
A Program of the Feminist Majority Foundation
A program of the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National
Center for Women & Policing (NCWP), promotes increasing
the numbers of women at all ranks of law enforcement as a
strategy to improve police response to violence against women,
police brutality and excessive force, and strengthen community
Twenty years of exhaustive research demonstrates that women
police officers utilize a style of policing that relies less
on physical force, and more on communication skills that
defuse potentially violent situations. Women police
officers are therefore much less likely to be involved in
occurrences of police brutality, and are also much more likely
to effectively respond to police calls regarding violence
against women, which today remain the single largest category
of calls to police agencies nationwide.
Yet despite this compelling research, women are severely
under-represented in police departments, accounting for
only 13.0% of police officers across the country, according
to our latest survey on the status of women in law enforcement.
The numbers of women in law enforcement are kept artificially
low by widespread discriminatory hiring and selection
practices. Keeping women out of policing is not only depriving
women of jobs, but is resulting in more police brutality.
The National Center for Women & Policing has
been working since 1995 to educate criminal justice policy
makers, the media and the public about the impacts of increasing
the representation of women in policing. Our goals include
ensuring that gender is always considered during the analysis
of contemporary policing issues, and that law enforcement
agencies strive for gender balancing their departments.
Penny Harrington, the former Chief
of the Portland Police Bureau and the first woman chief of a major
U.S. city, founded the National Center for Women & Policing with
Katherine Spillar, Executive Vice President of the Feminist Majority
Foundation, in 1995. Harrington had been instrumental in identifying
and developing strategies to remove the obstacles to hiring more
women in law enforcement, especially in Portland and Los Angeles.
She served as the Director of the NCWP until 2001, and remains an adviser to the program.
, the former Assistant Director of the NCWP, and the highest ranking
woman ever to serve in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms,
was appointed as the new Director of the NCWP in 2002 and served until 2012. She continues her work as an adviser to the program.
We produce and disseminate original research on issues
relevant to women in the field of law enforcement. Our publications
and reports are the most authoritative available and
in frequent demand by the news media and criminal justice
policymakers and researchers.
We provide extensive
materials to law enforcement agencies seeking to increase
the representation of women within their ranks.
How to Contact Us:
The National Center for Women & Policing
433 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Arlington, VA office:
1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 801
Arlington, VA 22209
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