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Improving the Recuritment of Women in Policing: An Investigation of Women's Attitudes and Job Preferences

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 67 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2000 Pages: 18-28
Deborah J. Campbell; Bryon D. Christman; Melissa E. Feigelson
Date Published
November 2000
7 pages
Four surveys gathered information from approximately 3,500 New York State residents regarding women’s perceptions of the New York State Police, careers in law enforcement, job characteristics important to women, and characteristics of a State trooper’s job that were most likely to attract women.
The research aimed to improve the recruitment of women to policing in New York. The researchers designed each survey instrument based on the findings of the prior survey. The four participant samples included male and female college students, New York State Police recruits, New York State Troopers of all ranks, and New York State residents between ages 19 and 29 years. Females were overrepresented in the survey of the general population. Just over 1,000 individuals completed the surveys. Results revealed that financial and job security was the job attribute rated most important by both males and females. The second most important job attribute for females was a supportive work climate. Other job attributes important to females were job enrichment, family-friendly work policies, choice of work assignment, and social contribution. Findings also indicated a moderate to good fit between what women want in a job and what the job of a New York State trooper offers. Other findings related to the study participants’ favorite activities and their relation to intentions and recruitment tactics. Findings suggested that police agencies that seek to recruit more women should focus their recruitment messages on job attributes most important to women, make all agency members aware of their potential impact on future applicants, focus recruitment efforts in locations where women who take part in certain activities are likely to be found, and carefully evaluate their recruitment messages. Figures, table, and 6 references