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Gay and Lesbian Cops: Diversity and Effective Policing

NCJ Number
Roddrick A. Colvin
Date Published
222 pages
This book describes and assesses the work lives of lesbian and gay police officers.
An introductory chapter includes a case study of how two lesbian police officers assisted in the investigation of the murder of a gay, hearing-impaired college student. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the relevant literature, including background information on discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals in public employment, the ways in which sexual minorities manage disclosure in the workplace, the recent history of lesbian and gay people in policing, and the development of shared perceptions by gay and lesbian officers about their work environment. This chapter also discusses how organizational effectiveness can be compromised when police agencies resist diversification that includes the hiring of gay and lesbian officers. Chapter 3 addresses community policing, which promotes interactive police and community strategies and resources that proactively promote public safety. This policing philosophy has led law enforcement agencies to face diversity in the communities they serve, which has led to recognition of the importance of recruiting gay and lesbian people into police service. Chapter 4 considers the experiences and shared perceptions of lesbian and gay officers in the United States and the United Kingdom, followed by a chapter that discusses the ways in which lesbian and gay officers have brought a unique dimension to law enforcement. Chapter 6 highlights two case studies - one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom - which show the distinctive and specialized contributions of gay and lesbian officers to policing. Chapter 7 explores the role of professional police associations in helping to diversify police personnel. The two remaining chapters focus on improvements in recruiting and retaining lesbian and gay officers; and best practices are recommended based on research conducted for this book. Tables, figures, references and a subject index