There are about 100,000 female police officers throughout the country. That includes officers at the federal, state, county, and local level and it represents about 15% of total law enforcement officers.
There are definitely differences from department to department in terms of the prevalence of female cops.
For example, at the federal level over 32% of IRS criminal investigators are female. And over 20% of officers from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are women, Compare that to less than 10% at both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Veterans Health Administration.
At the state and local level, there is also a rather large discrepancy. On average, about 12% of local police officers are women while less than 7% of state cops are female.
County sheriff agencies have a fairly high percentage of females – about 12%. However, this is actually a decrease from previous years.
The size of the agency also makes a pretty big difference. Typically, larger departments employ a higher percentage of female officers than a smaller one. Cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, Metro (DC), Chicago, and Los Angeles all have over 20% of their force made up of female police officers. And of course there are some small agencies who have yet to hire a female cop, for a variety of reasons.
So how to become a cop if you’re a woman? Well, the same way any man would. The process is exactly the same. Which also means a woman must meet the same physical requirements to get hired. It’s the same job after all, so it makes sense that the requirements are identical regardless of gender.
You can learn more about becoming a police officer at www.copuniversity.com. There are a variety of steps in the process including:
- Written Test
- Oral Board
- Physical Ability Test
- Background Investigation
- Executive Interview
- Pre-employment medical exam
- Psychological evaluation
Most applicants do not get hired on their first attempt. The competition can be fierce with hundreds or even thousands applying for a single position. But if you are qualified and determined, and flexible in terms of the agency, there is definitely a job out there for you.