In movies and television, it's no secret Hollywood has cashed in on the roles of law enforcement.
In 1989, Fox brought "reality" TV to life with "Cops." The idea was to have camera crews follow police officers across the country and show every household in America what officers do on a daily basis.
Since then, reality police shows have expanded to other agengies and aspects of police work, such as the D.E.A., SWAT, the U.S. Marshal's Service, and even the Los Angeles County Sheriff's police academy. At last, female police officers are getting their due.
Believe it or not, women have been involved in policing since the early 1900s. Granted, our roles in law enforcement have come a long way—a perfect example of this is represented by the female deputies of Maricopa (Ariz.) and Broward (Fla.) counties.
I have seen numerous episodes of "Police Women of Broward County" and several online clips from "Police Women of Maricopa County." It's about time we're represented.
The shows depict female officers as professional, knowledgeable in their jobs, and tough as they come. They clearly demonstrate that women are just as capable as men in the field of law enforcement.
However, there's a huge difference in how shows such as "Police Women" of Broward and Maricopa counties are filmed compared to their predecessor. "Cops" only depicted officers responding and handling calls, and oftentimes the banter that goes along with doing this job.
With the newer shows, I was taken aback by how these officers allowed cameras into their personal lives. The show reveals their homes, their families, and how they conduct their personal lives on national television, for all—even the criminal element—to see. I'm just not sure I agree that such insight outweighs the safety concerns it creates.
I understand that by allowing such a view, it gives the public an idea about how being a woman in a demanding, difficult, and oftentimes dangerous job—coupled with being a parent, partner, and juggling the weight of a career and household—can be challenging.
I have no doubt that today's female police officers are up to the challenge.