Equal Under the Law

By Joe Martone

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Posted October 25, 2012 in News
Protecting the streets isn’t a job for one man alone. In fact, Riverside County would prefer if the job wasn’t just for men alone. According to The Press-Enterprise, only 9.9 percent of the county’s sworn officers are women, far lower than the national average (13 to 15 percent). While Sheriff Stan Sniff has acknowledged that the department needs more women, the problem lies with the nature of the job. Law enforcement is a male-dominated profession, with many regulations that do not take women into account. Most police departments, according to Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, only begin to up their quota after a sexual harassment lawsuit and/or court-ordered mandate. Will women even want to apply to a position in a workplace where sexual harassment has occurred? It takes a lot of work for women to gain respect and become “one of the boys.” And besides—who says a female deputy can’t beat up a handcuffed suspect just as well as a guy? That’s sexist.

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