Environmental Attributes and the Changing Dynamics in Female Officer Employment

Ni He, Northeastern University
Jihong A. Solomon Zhao, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Nicholas P. Lovrich, Washington State University

Increasing percentage of female police officers has led to noteworthy organizational change in American policing. This paper examines internal and external environmental attributes hyupothesized to predict the employment of female police officers in the U.S. municipal agencies. Three waves of national surveys (1993, 1996, and 2000) based on a random sample of municipal police departments were used. The panel data set affords us a rare opportunity to examine the relationship between environmental factors (e.g., city size, minority representation, geographic location, municipal government structure, affirmative action program,a nd sworn personnel) and the employment of female police officers in the 1990s. Unlike most research that treats female officers as a single aggregrate group, we probe for possible cross-racial and ethnic differences. Implications for policy are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006