WOMEN WITH WEAPONS: Over Protection of Female Officers

Kendra arrived at the scene first. The yard scattered with trash, an old ice cream truck parked in the middle of the dump that surrounded the small house. The report indicated that a sex offender hid inside. She did surveillance while waiting for the other officers to show up.

The other officers, all male, now in place. The technical sweep commenced inside the house. All clear in the bedroom, kitchen and bath. They cautiously continued the search into the attic—no sex offender.

Back outside, Kendra approached the ice cream truck. She reached for the latch, then froze. No windows on the side she moved to the front of the vehicle.  A click sounded from inside, a gas can hurtled out the door.

Her male supervisor ordered her away from the action. His first priority had shifted from catching a criminal to keeping the female officer safe.

The men took over as she watched from a muddy ditch.

I acknowledged that it must be difficult being the first officer on the scene, actively involved in the search, then suddenly pushed aside leaving all the credit for the capture to her male counterparts.

I asked Kendra how she felt about this situation. She responded, “I knew I was capable, and didn’t need protection.”

It was  clear that she didn’t want special treatment.

Kendra didn’t discuss this situation with the supervisor. A lesson learned by many female officers: choose your battles carefully.

Please share your stories with us—without identifying information.

 

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