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Gender composition and agency decision-making: female officers' effect on body-worn camera acquisition

Thomas J. Mrozla (University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota, USA)
Julia Marin Hellwege (University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 30 June 2020

Issue publication date: 8 August 2020

326

Abstract

Purpose

Gender representation in policing is an important but understudied topic. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between female representation in police departments and the acquisition of body-worn cameras (BWCs). Further, it examined how female representation influenced the reasons for acquiring BWCs.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey and the 2016 Body-Worn Camera Supplement to the LEMAS.

Findings

Controlling for relevant organizational characteristics, findings highlight the importance of female representation in terms of the acquisition of BWCs. In addition, findings point to the effect that increased female representation has on the reasons for acquiring BWCs. Namely, agencies with a greater percentage of female patrol officers were more likely to acquire body cameras for reasons related to improving community relations, professionalism, training, reducing use of force and strengthening leadership.

Practical implications

This paper provides evidence of the positive influence of female representation in policing.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills the identified need to examine the influence of gender representation in police organizations. In addition, it advances the direction of recent research to merge large data sets in order to provide a unique look at the research questions.

Keywords

Citation

Mrozla, T.J. and Marin Hellwege, J. (2020), "Gender composition and agency decision-making: female officers' effect on body-worn camera acquisition", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 625-641. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-02-2020-0024

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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