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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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.
Women in Law Enforcement

Should Police Reality TV Depict Off-Duty Life?

Female officers juggle roles of officer, parent, partner, and head of household.

May 03, 2010  |  by Lynne Doucette - Also by this author

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.

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

pteinert @ 5/7/2010 7:48 PM

I understand why Hollywood and the public loves this reality stuff, but I just don't get what the point is for the officers, unless its $$.

Honestly, what officer wants their family put out there?

You know that feeling when your off duty and you hear that "voice" or see that "face" from a incident, a case, or whatever......say Hey, Officer Teinert! It's a difference tone than that of a friendly citizen's 'hello'. If your family is with you at the time it's worse, that hollow feeling in your stomach and automatically you begin all that goes with the defense mode, all the while trying to be discrete and hold your composure while in front of your kids.

Why ask for it and why take the chance?

I too have no doubt that today's female police officers are up to the challenge. But are our families and should they be put in that position?

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