In an entity that is often referred to as “the boys in blue,” it can be challenging for a woman to navigate a career in law enforcement.
Junior criminal justice major Emily Slack is pursuing a career in law enforcement. Slack said that working in law enforcement has always been a career that made sense for her.
“I’m going into law enforcement to help and protect people, with the added bonus of putting criminals away so they can’t continue breaking the law and harming society,” Slack said. “It is what I feel like I’ve been called to do.”
Slack said she wants to protect communities by helping put away criminals and doing her part to make the world a better place.
“It’s pretty fascination to learn about all the different facets of criminal justice,” Slack said. “It has always been interesting to me.”
Samuel Jeffrey, associate professor of criminal justice, said that diversity of perspective is healthy in most endeavors, and law enforcement is no exception.
“Women in any profession come into contact with both bias and harassment and harassment,” Jeffrey said. “Law enforcement is no exception to this. There is also the physical aspect of the job, which can be quite demanding.”
Deena Reynolds has been serving as a staff officer for Public Safety at Harding for seven years. According to Reynolds, being a woman in public safety has its difficulties, but there are also opportunities.
“One thing that I experience almost daily is that many people feel more comfortable talking with me than they do with the men,” Reynolds said.
Regardless of gender, members of the police force face different challenges in their careers, depending upon what sector they are in. Reynolds said that some of the challenges that she faces are stress, the time consumption of the job and maintaining a positive attitude.
“Take care of yourself,” Reynolds said. “It is a stressful job, and sometimes all you can find to eat is junk food, or high sugary foods. So, make sure that you take time to eat right, work out and relax.”
Reynolds said added developing a thick skin is crucial in the public safety field. There is a lot of negativity and being called names on the job that one can not take personal.
Slack and Reynolds agreed that the pursuit of law enforcement has been worthwhile for them, despite the challenges they have and will face.
“I think women will bring a strong sense of compassion to the field that men are sometimes lacking, but still maintain a strong sense of right and wrong,” Slack said.