Female Police Officer Interview: True Insight Into The Force

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From time to time at The Other Shift, we are placed into situations where it feels like we were destined to cross paths with another person. This was one of those times, where we were fortunate enough to sit down with a female police officer who was forthcoming in sharing her unique insights into the force.

This article is a great read for any female thinking about becoming a policewoman, a lady who’s currently a cop and wants advice or anyone in general wanting to know more about the daily craziness that comes with being a female in a predominantly male-dominated industry. We hope you enjoy!

Female Police Officer Interview

*For the purposes of privacy, the name of the female officer in this article has not been shared.

A Little Bit About Me….

It didn’t sit well with anybody. My mother, my sister, my father, my relatives and friends were not too fond of my decision to go into law enforcement. I received a lot of silence when I broke the news that I was toying with the idea and considering becoming a cop. Nobody tried to stop me, but I wouldn’t say it was widely supported either.

I was at a pivotal time in my life. On the brink of divorce, working a job I professionally and quietly loathed with my soon-to-be ex-husband, I began to seek a change. It happened slowly at first, and then all at once, but I fell in love with the idea of becoming a police officer.

Criminology and law enforcement always intrigued me, even throughout college. Serial killers captivated me and, even while attending a summer journalism camp at a local university while I was in high school, I chose my work to focus on serial killers.

My final push and ultimate motivation was something I was particularly quiet and reserved about. I was a victim of domestic violence and the reality of my failed marriage had settled in. I was done feeling sorry for myself, I was not going to accept another apology or convince myself that it would get better and that I was still loved.

It was time to remove myself from an abusive, unhealthy and toxic lifestyle and do something about how easy it is for individuals to endure emotional and physical abuse and continue on for years, each time convinced all over again that it would be changed.

Today, I’m super grateful that I made the switch and chose to become a female police officer.

I feel I have truly made a difference in certain situations involving domestic violence, just like I sought out to.

Being a female allows me to communicate just a little better with other females than I feel a man can. I am able to level with other females and empathize. After all, I too, have a story to tell and I feel that I have a bit of an intuition when it comes to domestic abuse. I’ve lived it.

With the determination to make a difference as a female officer and my passion for law enforcement, I was prepared to make this change. Now was the chance to take the leap and to make a career switch.

In my late twenties, I was going through a divorce, leaving my job, moving out and uprooting my dog and entire life. Shaking things up a little more and tossing in a six month police academy was my next step.

How Did I Start?

I needed to get out, and I needed to do it right away. This meant that I did not have time to attempt to get hired by an agency that would sponsor me through the police academy. With background checks, a long application process, testing, polygraphs and psychological evaluations, I did not feel that I had enough time to be patient and wait.

So I paid to send myself to the academy. Luckily, about halfway through, a local agency hired me. To be quite honest here, being hired by an agency as a female seemed to not be a problem. I almost got the impression that being a minority in this career field is a beneficial one-up on men competing for the same job.

I found the academy to be challenging. As a female, passing the physical tests proved to be difficult. I was faced with a bunch of pull-ups, sit-ups, and pushups. There was a massive wall we had to climb up and over for the entrance to an obstacle course race and for my 5’2 self, this was problematic, but eventually, I got it.

For most men, they were able to scale their activities pretty effortlessly. But for me, I took an extreme amount of pride in knowing I achieved something physically demanding as an entrance into this profession.

Once out of the academy, and while going through training, I felt like more was expected of me because I was female, but I did not take this personally and was not upset. Being a female in a male dominated workplace instantly puts pressure on and I was expecting this going into this field.

In comparison to my male fellow officers going through training with me, nothing was ever unfair, but I did feel what I thought to be the extra pressure to succeed. Maybe I was placing that one myself, rather than it coming externally?

For training, I was placed with a much more difficult and rigorous training officer than my male equals. In group settings, I was usually first to be called on, first to act out demonstrations and it seemed like when I was wrong, I was punished more harshly.

I did many pushups in the middle of the road at night as punishment for not knowing where I was while trying to learn the geography of the city. It was rough.

How Being An Officer Makes Me Feel

The job has proven to be certainly challenging, yet rewarding. I feel that I am able to leave lasting impressions on individuals while helping and doing virtuous things for others.

The best part of the job is the feeling of knowing that today, you made a difference. It will always leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end of my day knowing that I was able to find that missing child, console that mother who just lost her son, be a reassuring face after a terrifying car accident or to be out there saving lives.

Not everyone can go home and say those feelings and emotions formed part of their day today!

Perks Of The Job

The benefits of the job are definitely there and able to be taken advantage of!

Off duty, we are granted the opportunity to work overtime, usually in the form of security for a business or function. The task will vary with each job and location, but will usually entail police presence and security. These details are paid very nicely and help with supplementing my standard income.

Another great benefit, (no pun intended), is the benefits! I feel that we are blessed with great health insurance and added assistance for ourselves and our families. Our retirement and pension plans are usually, department depending, fairly abundant too.

Female Officer Stigma

You might think that it this doesn’t exist, but it definitely does. I am now remarried to another police officer from a different department. One thing that I will never forget is something someone said to my now-husband when he and I first started dating.

His work friend told him to be cautious of me, stating that “we all know how female officers are”. By this, he was implying that I would be along the lines of the stereotypical female cop: a manipulative, unfaithful, stuck up girl fighting to be seen as one of the guys.

As a female, it stinks to say it, but it is true that some female cops can come across this way. Like they have something to prove. Some do cheat on their significant others. Some can be untrustworthy.

But like any subsection in life, nobody is perfect and I don’t believe it’s fair to paint everybody with the same brush. I have made some great female friends along the way in this profession and we understand that we are in it together and it is important that we have each other’s backs.

I have also experienced sexist related comments from both within the force itself and the general public. Which being honest, can be difficult to handle at times. However, I chose my battles and this stigma is starting to shift the more we see ladies present in the industry.

It’s All About The Look!

For women in the police force, dress code regarding our hair is a big one.

Lady Officers need to be perceived as clean and put together.

Many police departments are paramilitary, meaning that they follow along with military guidelines, which include hair swept away and in a bun.

Each department, however, has its own dress code. Some will allow ponytails and some require the bun.

If this is of a concern for you, definitely ask the question when joining just so that you don’t get to work one day and have the others look at you like “Are you serious right now?”.

Would I Recommend The Force To Others?

I would tell any fellow female considering becoming a cop to join without thinking twice. However, I believe it takes a certain type of person.

She needs to be ready for some long (and weird) hours. She needs to understand that some days, it will be boring and lonely and others, it will be so overwhelming that you will barely make it to your shower without falling asleep.

She will need to know that there is no way to truly prepare and you need to be ready to just throw yourself out there.

This is policing, a forever dynamic and changing field, chalk full of new events every single day.

It is rewarding, yet tiring and is not for the faint of heart. I will never look back with regret, and I don’t have any reason too, as I look forward to every single day as a great day to make a difference.

Recommended Further Reading

Summary: Interview With A Female Police Officer: A True Insight Into The Force

We were extremely appreciative of this young lady giving up her time to share her unique story and insights into law enforcement. We hope you enjoyed the read and took something away from knowing more about working in this field.

We hope to see a few more lady officers patrolling the streets and keeping us safe due to what’s been shared here!


Emma signature | theothershift.com

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Emma @ The Other Shift

Hey there! I'm Emma Smith a passionate, Registered Nurse from Australia. Together with my husband Daniel, we run The Other Shift. Our sole aim is to help shift workers and those on unusual schedules find balance between work and life. I understand the challenges of fitting in exercise, maintaining relationships and getting enough quality sleep, but I'm excited to show you that it’s possible to do shift work and still thrive. Read more about us and our story here.

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