The Role of Women in Policing Today
Over the past few decades, policing and police officers have changed. Policing used to lean heavily toward physical attributes, such as height, weight and brute strength. Over time, the attributes that were thought to make a good police officer have shifted. The job still requires a great level of physical fitness; however, what’s more important now is good ethical character, and excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.
This shift can be attributed to a new, proactive style of policing called “community policing”. Community policing is now used across North America, and the EPS is a leader in this area. It’s an integral part of how we work on a daily basis in our community.
Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques. It proactively addresses the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Essentially, it’s about establishing relationships in the community — with residents, business owners and community leagues — and collaborating with those partners in order to proactively reduce and prevent crime.
Training and Patrol
When our recruits complete Academy Foundations Training, they hit the streets with a police training officer to carry out community policing duties in a patrol role. Part of this on-the-street training is to work on a problem-solving initiative in the area where they are stationed. From day one, the EPS reinforces that problem-solving is an important part of the job. For more information, see the training page and What to Expect the First Year.
During patrol duty, officers refine the policing skills learned in training and gain the confidence needed to excel in future, specialized roles. It’s also where you’ll gain many of your fondest work memories. Ask any officer for some of their patrol stories and you will hear about adrenaline rushes, catching bad guys and an eagerness to make a difference.
The EPS looks for many important qualities in potential candidates. Officers must be honest and have the utmost integrity. They must display courage and perseverance, along with compassion and understanding, when responding to challenging calls. These qualities are not strictly male or female traits, but ones that help make a good police officer — no matter what your gender.
Women often approach and solve problems from a different angle than their male counterparts. EPS officers recognize these differences and see them as vital components of a great team. In the end, each gender brings something unique and valuable to the job — that’s why a diverse membership is so important to the EPS.