National Police Women’s Day is annually observed on September 12. This day recognises and honours the contribution of female police officers who enforce law and order throughout the nation. Women make up less than 10% of the police force in the United States today. National Police Woman Day aims to rectify the situation by encouraging more women to join the police force. There are campaigns and events organised to encourage more women to pursue careers in law enforcement. In addition to expressing gratitude to these officers, the day also wishes for a future in which law enforcement agencies will have a greater number of female members. Education for women is related to women’s empowerment Scholaroo has compiled a list of the best women’s scholarships, which can assist young women in deciding on a career path.
The background of National Police Woman Day
Most likely the first female police officer in the United States was Marie Owens. In 1891, she was employed by the Chicago Police Department. Prior to Owens, police matrons were not uncommon in New York City prisons, but they lacked the authority to make arrests. Alice Wells was recruited by the Los Angeles police department in 1910 and was the first woman born in the United States to serve as a police officer. Owens, unlike Wells, was a Canadian native.
New York City appointed the first police matrons to search and guard female prisoners in 1854, but they were civilians without law enforcement authority. Many women began vying for similar positions in various regions of the United States, as the position became quite popular among women. Alice Wells was designated as the Los Angeles Police Department’s first regularly rated female officer in 1910. Before her, matrons were viewed as masculine and dimwitted. Wells held a bachelor’s degree, was a social worker, and had actively pursued employment as a police officer. She quickly became a pioneer in the national movement to employ women as police officers. However, this was not the case, and women were employed based on quotas. This means they regularly confronted discrimination, silent contempt, sexism at the workplace, and other double standards. Several court cases were contested to achieve employment equality in police departments. The landmark cases were Shpritzer v. Lang, Wells v. Civil Service Commission, and the Joanne Rossi case in Pennsylvania. Veragene Hardy filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of Oakland Civil Service Board in August 1971, demanding that the Oakland Police Department’s civil service classification for police officers be open to both men and women on an equal basis. Currently, policewomen participate in every aspect of police activity.
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NATIONAL POLICE WOMAN DAY DATES