Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of fatalities and incidents involving female officers on the job, and there are experts that say this is due to the fact that both males and females receive identical training. While equality on the job is, of course, important there are some fundamental differences in the genders and the tactics that they can use for effective police work. In order to better prepare female officers, training programs should take the following into consideration:
- The size of most female officers – the majority of female officers are smaller and lighter than the average male suspect. As a result, she is not going to be on equal playing field if some sort of hand-to-hand style combat has to take place. Female officers have more opportunity to gain control if they tackle a suspect. This is something that should be emphasized in training and practice, as other techniques applied by women may not have a desirable result.
- The differences in female thinking – experts say that by nature, men are more curious about the functions of mechanical objects, including guns. As a result, an male officer in training that has never held a gun will be faster to understand the way the device works. A female officer may need more instruction on all of the features. Of course, this may not be true in all cases, but should still be considered for training. A better understanding of the mechanics will increase gun safety and use for all officers.
- Women are more focused on details – when teaching things like sight pictures, experts say that teaching women all of the small details involved will lead to even better marksmanship.
- The whole police force needs to embrace differences – often women are criticized for what they can’t do by men in the police force. Instead, their unique abilities should be seen as beneficial to all, and there should be no embarrassment if women need to modify techniques in order to accomplish something.