Warriors in High Heels

Are there female cops I wouldn't work with? You bet, but there also guys I wouldn't go through a door with either.

This was never more evident than when Seattle Officer Britt Sweeny found herself involved in a shooting incident that killed her partner. Seattle Assistant Chief of Police described her actions as those of a ten year veteran. Inasmuch as she was fresh from the academy, her recent training was all she had to rely on. She not only returned fire after being wounded, but she got on the air and put out a description of the offender. That's pretty darn good for a rookie.

There's more to all of this than just training. There's something much deeper, something intangible that many of these female warriors exhibit. It's their spirit; it's their inner strength. It's self confidence in knowing that they possess the tools, knowledge, and the ability to do the job, regardless of any obstacles they may encounter. This warrior attitude imbues them with fortitude and strength, similar to that of a mother bear who protects her cubs from harm. They don't know the words, can't, won't, or fail. They attack with a frightful ferocity that I'm certain the bad guys never imagined might emanate from such an often tiny adversary.

Are there female cops who I absolutely would not work with? You bet, but I've also had my share of male officers who I wouldn't go through a door with either. Our sisters in blue have proven that they belong. Anyone who questions their skills and abilities doesn't have a clue. When they put that uniform on, get into that vest, and hitch up their duty belt, they rightly take their place on the front lines.

Sadly, there's also a downside to the emergence of these female paladins. As they increasingly interject themselves in more violent confrontations, they sometimes lose the battle. The latest figures show that 223 female police officers have been killed in the line of duty, their names inscribed on the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC. As I write this article, I'm aware that another name will soon be added to that list, that of Officer Tina Griswold, Lakewood, Washington PD. She and three of her colleagues were ambushed and murdered at a coffee shop. The devil does indeed walk among us.

If you're one of those who still question whether female cops belong on the job, I'm here to tell you that they most certainly do. They can perform the job as well as, or better than many of us. But here's the bottom line: it's not a question of gender with regard to who can do the job of policing. Rather, it's a question of heart. Who can devote their life to being a career warrior. That's right, not dedicate their life to a job. Being a cop is a vocation; a calling, if you will. You don't take the job simply because it pays well, or has great benefits. You become a cop because you believe in, and stand for, good over evil, right over wrong, principle over expediency. If you're on the job for any other reason, you're not in it to win it.

Stay safe, brothers and sisters.

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