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Recruiting and Retaining Women: A Self-Assessment Guide for Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Penny Harrington
Date Published
234 pages

This manual presents step-by-step instructions to help police agencies hire and retain more women employees by examining their policies and procedures and by identifying and removing obstacles to hiring and retaining sworn and civilian women employees at all levels within the organization.


The developers of the guide included an advisory board consisting of State, county, and municipal law enforcement executives and members of other professional organizations representing law enforcement leaders and minority groups in law enforcement. Field testing of the draft sections took place in police agencies in Idaho and Virginia. Individual sections explain the advantages that hiring and retaining more women provides to law enforcement agencies' methods and processes for assessing a law enforcement agency. Additional chapters explain how to develop a job description, recruit quality candidates, remove obstacles in the selection process, and design quality recruit academies and field training programs. Further chapters focus on mentoring to increase retention, valuing civilian employees, implementing family-friendly policies, monitoring performance evaluations, and addressing assignments and promotions. Other chapters explain how to prevent sexual and gender harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; ensure impartial internal investigation and discipline systems; and develop effective awards and recognition programs. Each chapter includes a statement of the problem and issues covered; an analysis of the legal issues; a discussion of possible solutions and model policies and practices; lists of references, resources, and points of contact; and a checklist summarizing the steps involved at each stage of the self-assessment process. Checklists, reference notes, appended background materials and agency documents, reader comment form, resource list, and 105 references

Date Published: January 1, 2001