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Lynne Doucette

Lynne Doucette

Lt. Lynne D. Doucette is a patrol supervisor and defensive tactics trainer with the Brunswick (Maine) PD. Prior to being the first female promoted at BPD, she worked as an undercover detective assigned to the state narcotics task force.

Patricia Teinert

Patricia Teinert

Patricia A. Teinert has been a Texas peace officer since 1984. She has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and member of a juvenile gang and narcotics task force. She is currently a patrol officer with Katy ISD Police Department.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Women in Law Enforcement

Your 'Officer' Persona Puts You In Charge

Awareness is the most important skill needed for police work.

January 26, 2010  |  by Lori Connelly - Also by this author

A San Francisco police officer. Image via rubybgold (

As police officers we are trained to be observers. Early in the academy we are grilled on being aware of our physical location. This is important for many obvious reasons. We are trained to be aware of our backdrop in every situation to scan for threats or in case we suddenly need to draw our weapon and shoot. Awareness is perhaps the most important skill needed to perform the duties of a police officer.

Being a female officer, and a smaller one at that, I have often wished I was taller knowing that most of the people I deal with on the street are taller and heavier than me. I have never felt the need to prove myself physically though, because when the time comes to show what you have, it has always been a matter of gaining and keeping control of a situation for everyone's safety.

It wasn't until someone pointed it out to me that I realized I walk and carry myself very differently when I am in uniform than I do when I am in my civilian clothes. Maybe it is because in my civilian clothes I love to dress very femininely in high heels and pretty dresses.

Once I put my uniform on, I am out to take care of business. I carry myself in a manner that says, "Don't mess with me. I am in charge. I am here to help."

When children play and pretend to be adults, they put "serious" adult expressions on their faces. Officers put on their "officer personalities" when they put on their uniforms. This is an important quality to have as an officer.

Awareness on our jobs requires us to be in a different state of mind while at work than we might be while sitting at a sidewalk cafe people watching on a day off. Using our skills and resources to the best of our abilities as female officers, no matter what our statures are, can be our best assets.

We were not hired to prove ourselves physically to anyone; we were hired to do the best we can with all we have.

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