Recruiting and Retaining Female Employees in Campus Security and Law Enforcement

Here’s how your school, university or hospital can hire and then retain more women officers and executives in your security or public safety department.

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A study of the Chicago Police Department last year found that female law enforcement officers use force 28% less often than their male counterparts. They also make 7% fewer arrests. Although the study didn’t delve into why these differences exist, we do know that unnecessary arrests and unnecessary use of force can damage community relations and lead to lawsuits.

Campus Safety Voices, available on Spotify and Apple streaming platforms, features timely conversations on a wide range of topics affecting K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and healthcare facilities.

It stands to reason, then, that campus security and public safety departments could greatly benefit from hiring more women. Unfortunately, only about 13% of full-time law enforcement officers in the U.S. are female, despite the fact that women make up 60% of the U.S. workforce. For schools, universities, and hospitals, 44% of their security or campus police departments have 10% or fewer female employees in them, according to Campus Safety’s 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey. More than four out of five say that women make up less than 30% of their employees.

So, how can a K-12 school district, college campus, or healthcare facility recruit and then retain its female officers?

To find out, I interviewed three campus public safety and security veterans: University of Illinois Chief of Police Alice Cary, Los Angeles School Police Department Chief Leslie Ramirez, and SRMC Consultant Marilyn Hollier.

In our interview, Cary, Ramirez, and Hollier cover:

  • Additional reasons why campus public safety departments should hire more women – 2:30
  • Why more women aren’t in campus law enforcement and security – 6:23
  • Some of the strategies they’ve adopted to not only recruit women, but also ways to make female officers successful in their careers so that they will stay in campus security and policing – 11:09
  • Creating an environment that is attractive to potential female officers – 19:43
  • How men can support women in security and law enforcement – 31:50

Here’s our discussion. Enjoy the show!

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About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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