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Gender And Community Policing:
While traditional policing celebrated male officers as masculine crime fighters who were tough, aloof, and physically intimidating, policewomen were characterized as too soft and emotional for patrol assignments and were relegated to roles focusing on children, other women, or clerical tasks. With the advent of community policing, women's perceived skills are finally finding a legitimate place in police work, and law enforcement structures now encourage such previously undervalued feminine traits as trust, cooperation, compassion, interpersonal communication, and conflict resolution.
In this illuminating study of gender and community policing, Susan L. Miller draws on a combination of survey data, forthright interviews with a diverse mix of police officers, and extensive fieldwork conducted in a midwestern city where community policing has been practiced for over a decade. She describes the differences and similarities in policing styles of male and female officers, considers the relationships that develop between neighborhood police on foot and patrol officers in squad cars, and explores the interactions between neighborhood officers and community members.
Miller confronts such questions as how police reconcile incompatible images of masculinity and femininity; how actions of neighborhood police officers compare with those of traditional rapid response patrol officers; how community police cope with resistance from the rank and file; and how gender and gender-role expectations shape police activities and the evaluation of new skills.
Gender and Community Policing provides both a feminist framework for community policing and a fresh examination of how race, gender, and sexual orientation affect police image, identity, and methods. [via]