Now more than ever agencies are looking to fill their ranks with a diverse officer corps that reflects the populations they serve. This includes women and those from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as other minority groups.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, racial and ethnic minorities in state and local agencies made up 23.6 percent of full-time sworn personnel in 2003, up from 14.6 percent in 1987. Women accounted for 11.3 percent of officers in 2003 up from 7.6 percent in 1987.
While the numbers are increasing, law enforcement continues to seek greater representation of women and minorities in its ranks.
Law enforcement requires a unique blend of traits and characteristics. Law enforcement is a field that respects and encourages individuality. Law enforcement is a field where diversity matters, is encouraged, and is sought after.
There are several groups and membership organizations devoted to the advancement of women and minorities in law enforcement. Some of these include
- National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
- National Center for Women & Policing
- National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
- National Latino Peace Officers Association
- National Asian Peace Officers Association
- National Native American Law Enforcement Association
- American Muslim Law Enforcement Officers Association
- Gay Officers Action League