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Findings on the Role of Officer Gender in Violent Encounters With Citizens

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1987) Pages: 78-85
S E Grennan
Date Published
8 pages
Using data on patrol teams from the New York City Police Department, this study investigated whether female officers were more likely than males to be injured and less likely to use deadly physical force in violent confrontations with citizens.
The research sample involved male-male, male-female, and female-female patrol teams who had participated in violent confrontations with citizens during 1983, based on the New York City Police Department's Firearms Discharge/Assault on Officer report forms. A total of 3,701 incidents were analyzed. The research found no differences in the amount of physical injuries between male-female patrol teams and male-male patrol teams. Overall, it found no basic difference between the ways a male or female officer, working in a patrol team, reacts to a violent confrontation. The findings showed that the male partner in male-female teams is more likely to discharge a firearm than the female partner. Finally, police officers are more likely to become injured during a pure assault type of incident than any type of incident that may involve the use of a firearm. Implications of the research for police training and the myth that female police officers cannot handle violent conflicts with the public are discussed. Tables and approximately 40 references.