Performance evaluation in policing is often focused on simplistic objectives based on outcomes. Doing so fails to capture all the other facets of policing that goes beyond arrests, tickets and traffic stops. Such an approach also creates a disparity comparing male and female officers – where men tend to excel in one aspect of policing and women in another.
Teaming up on this session are Paige Valenta and Anne Lin Kringen. Paige is the Assistant Chief of Operations for the City of Madison Police Department. In her role, she oversees patrol and investigative resources across Madison’s police districts and commands the special events team and their mounted and canine unit. She worked in various roles during her career and is a member of the NIJ’s LEADS scholars program. Meanwhile, Anne is an Associate Professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven and Assistant Dean at the Henry C. Lee College. She works on researches in different aspects of policing including hiring guidelines that espouse diversity.
Together, they sharwd their research and practical expertise on this course where they discussed:
- A backgrounder on the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), its history, membership and initiatives, and how the Women in Law Enforcement series came about from the NIJ summit.
- Dissecting the two concepts of process and outcomes central to the performance evaluation discussion.
- A look into the history of women in policing that laid out the role women played and the societal changes that served as impetus into what it is today.
- An overview of Madison Wisconsin and their police department where 30% of the force is comprised of women police officers.
- Research findings on female officer’s performance that highlight how outcomes tend to be the basis of police performance evaluation and a tendency to make male performance the standard for comparison.
- The most common metrics used by agencies and the shortcomings of each in properly evaluating the officers.
- The goals and fundamental functions of policing that must be given as much importance as law enforcement and the unique contributions of female officers that address these.
- Specialized assignments where having female officers is proven to be highly beneficial.
- Women’s critical role in community policing that builds the trust of the citizens.
- Going beyond the limitations set by the existing performance metrics and re-evaluating these to review the situation, the process, decisions and actions instead of just the outcomes.
- Course participants raised their inquiries about:
- Why women are less likely to be involved in use of force incidents.
- Efforts and challenges in starting a female mentoring program for recruits.
- Madison’s commitment and efforts to sustain the high percentage of female officers in their agency.
- Challenges that women face as a police officer that may impact retention and promotion.
- Utilizing body camera footages as a basis to aid in reviewing the process and not just the outcomes.
- Madison PD’s proactive and robust recruitment program.
Other Webinars in this series include:
- June 6, 1p ET: Women in Law Enforcement: Physical Fitness Standards & Testing
- July 24, 1p ET: Women in Law Enforcement: Promotion & Assignment
- Aug 28, 1p ET: Women in Law Enforcement: Navigating Police Culture
Additional Webinar Resources:
- See the National Institute of Justice’s Special Report: Women in Policing: Breaking Barriers and Blazing a Path (July 2019)
- “I learned a lot regarding the Guardian vs. Warrior philosophy for officers, and the social work element of law enforcement. There was also a lot of good information about specific qualities females bring to the profession. Great work from Paige and Anne Li and thanks to the Justice Clearinghouse for a great webinar.” — Anthony
- “Streamlining hiring processes is critical if an agency/organization wishes to get the “cream of the crop” for the job and retain valuable assets (talent) within the agency – Community policing is catching on in the big cities such as Phoenix.” — Pamela
- “Important stuff, very thought-provoking.” — Brandy