Are Male & Female Officers Treated The Same In Law Enforcement?

By Sean Riley

Controversial question for some, not for me.  I’ll have to say “No” they are not.  Let’s look at the example of the female undercover officers to delve into this further.

Some of my favorite conferences to speak at are the female undercover schools. Why you ask?  Because I don’t have to fight through the testosterone, they call you on your crap and they’re much more engaging than their male counterparts.  The female UC’s are also faced with different challenges than their male counterparts too.  I often hear administrators say that the female UC’s are treated the same as men.  I don’t buy that for a second and administrators if that’s what you’re telling people, STOP!!!

Hollywood and television portray the female undercover officer in sexy lingerie, sipping high end liquor in very high class settings.  This could not be further from the truth. It is down and dirty street level crime…  In the gutter with things you can’t even imagine.

Recently at one of these conferences, two separate schools were running at the same time separating the genders.  There’s a good reason for this, the females have different challenges to overcome and you need more time to concentrate on those challenges that would not be addressed in a joint conference.

At registration I overheard a male supervisor advise us that his female UC was unable to attend the conference because she was the only female in the unit and they needed her to stay behind and help the unit.  Really???  Are her male counterparts required to do the same???  I don’t think so because they were all at the conference.

In the drug culture, most transactions are done by males even at high levels.  Females can be viewed as only “carriers” and placed into a smaller role.  However when dealing with most things sexual in nature many units will put the female UC front and center. Let me think about that?  That can be viewed as kind of a double standard.

In the world of vice, narcotics and any other sting the female UC’s are subjected and viewed as objects for the most part by those they deal with on the streets.  They are also subjected to comments and actions that are so crude I can’t even mention them.  Most male UC’s will never experience this.  My hat is off to each and every one of you.

Supervisors just acknowledge it upfront, you don’t treat them the same and if you did we wouldn’t need to conduct specific training’s to address the issues they face while undercover and the situations you put them in without providing the proper training. I’ve witnessed interview after interview of female UC’s and the terrible things that have happened to them while in their undercover role to even include being raped.  Just not acceptable!!!

I used to always say, these are some of the finest female officers I have ever met.  I now know that they are some of the finest officers I’ve ever met.  It is an honor to be able to present at these conference and I thank Charlie Fuller of the International Association of Undercover Officers for specifically holding these conferences for the female UC’s and confront these matters head on.  Female UC’s, stay safe out there, we really need you!!! #ArmorUp #CatchingHell #FirstIn #changethenarrative

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One thought on “Are Male & Female Officers Treated The Same In Law Enforcement?

  1. From a personal perspective, they are not, and that is shameful. I speak directly to this topic during my #CatchingHell training.The female agents and officers I worked with proved over and over to be some of the most intelligent and courageous I was blessed to partner with. They did everything I did, faced every risk, took every chance, and did so with equal, and many times greater courage than I could find. I do my very best to defeat the ‘arm-candy’ stereotype some place on women in undercover roles. You don’t have to have balls to have balls.


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