Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Women and Policing
Donna C. Hale
Women first entered a police car as patrol officers in 1968 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Until that time, the role of women in policing in the United States was limited to duties that were considered appropriate and safe for women. Indianapolis policewomen Betty Blankenship and Elizabeth Coffal changed the role of women in policing when they went on patrol dressed in uniforms and carrying guns. The Indianapolis Police Department was the first police department in the United States to assign women to full-time field patrol. The concept of separate spheres for men and women in policing was based on entrenched societal attitudes regarding the nature of “men's work” and “women's work.” Women were first employed in police departments in the United States in 1910 after Alice Stebbins Wells was hired as the first official policewoman with the power of arrest. Wells believed that the power of arrest provided her the authority ...