Although females have been serving as police officers in Canada for approximately four decades, they continue to make up only a small proportion of this profession (20% in 2012, Statistics Canada, 2012). As such, national and provincial police organizations are currently employing recruitment strategies with aim of addressing this gender disparity. Despite these initiatives, the role of females within law enforcement remains complex, controversial, and limited. This study explores the issues surrounding female police officers and their contributions to Canadian law enforcement. The primary focus of the study is to identify officers’ perceptions about females’ appropriateness and capabilities as police officers, and to provide a current assessment of female officers’ occupational experiences. Sixteen current and former police officers (female n=11 and male n=5) from various police departments in the area of Vancouver, Canada, and one female police chief from the province of Ontario, Canada were interviewed for this project. The findings of the study provide an assessment of the influence of gender on policing; including constructive polices to enhance the role and experiences of female police officers in the future.
Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Parent, Rick
Member of collection