Women in State Law Enforcement: An Exploratory Trend Analysis

Gender diversity in policing has never been more important than it is today. However, women in state law enforcement are the least noticeable and most underrepresented of all women in policing. Using data from the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) surveys, this study examines gender diversity across the 49 primary state law enforcement agencies in the United States between 2000 and 2016. Although representation varies broadly across the states, the findings are mostly negative and suggest that women in state law enforcement have remained stagnant over the past two decades with very little improvement. This is important because scholarship must continue to bring attention to the underrepresentation of women in law enforcement, regardless of intergovernmental level, and monitor its progress.

Gender diversity in policing has never been more important than it is today. However, women in state law enforcement are the least noticeable and most underrepresented of all women in policing. Using data from the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) surveys, this study examines gender diversity across the 49 primary state law enforcement agencies in the United States between 2000 and 2016. Although representation varies broadly across the states, the findings are mostly negative and suggest that women in state law enforcement have remained stagnant over the past two decades with very little improvement. This is important because scholarship must continue to bring attention to the underrepresentation of women in law enforcement, regardless of intergovernmental level, and monitor its progress.

File Type: 1177/02750740221088315
Categories: Current Issues, Employment, Equity, Gender, Police, Police Reform, Women