Looking Back: Child Burn Victims, Recruiting Women, and a Female Motor Officer

In past August issues, POLICE has covered how to investigate children’s burn injuries, efforts to hire female officers, and one woman’s experience as a motor officer.

Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot

Here’s a look at the pages of POLICE Magazine 10, 20, and 30 years ago. 


Riding Out the Storm

Riding Out the Storm: profile of Motor Officer Linda BrownRiding Out the Storm: profile of Motor Officer Linda BrownPhoto: magazine scan

This profile of Motor Officer Linda Brown details her efforts to join law enforcement and then further prove herself by becoming and working as a motor officer with the Santa Monica (CA) Police Department.

She said when she stopped women for traffic violations they tended to give her the hardest time, but that many men weren’t too nice to her either, just because of her gender. “Brown would like to see another female working on the Santa Monica motor unit but most of the female officers she has approached have been apprehensive,” the article says. 

Brown said she didn’t see herself as a pioneer, but she felt she had earned her place on the motor patrol and that she had accomplished her goal of gaining fellow officers’ respect. “I really only want to be treated as just another cop, and I think I’ve achieved that,” she said. “Now my motivation is, ‘What’s the next challenge?’”


Patrol Response To…Child Burn Investigations

Patrol Response To…Child Burn InvestigationsPatrol Response To…Child Burn InvestigationsPhoto: magazine scan

Investigating any crime against children is emotionally taxing for law enforcement officers. They want to help protect these innocent victims. “Deliberate injury caused by burning often goes unrecognized by police,” the article opines. But the goal of the article is to change that. As the deck says, “If you know what to look for, you can stop a parent, guardian, or caretaker from torturing a child.”

Tips include looking for multiple burns across the body and observing whether they are at different stages of healing or accompanied by bruises. Any of these could be signs of intentional injuries inflicted on the child. It’s just as important to look for signs that the burn injury was accidental. Usually, an accidental burn will have an irregular pattern and be more shallow, compared to intentional burns that will be more clearly defined and deeper.


Recruiting Women: Are We Doing Enough?

This article opens with the quote, “Women can do this job,” from Donna Milgram, executive director of the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science. The article goes on to say that such a statement “would have been met with skepticism by many in law enforcement 20 or more years ago,” meaning 1979 or before, but that skeptics, including many police chiefs, had since been convinced.

One rural police chief who admitted to changing his tune said the only problem he had with women being officers at this point was attracting a large enough pool of qualified candidates. He said the most highly qualified men and women were taking higher paying jobs in metropolitan areas. And despite intensifying efforts to reach out to women in particular, departments across the country were also having difficulty enticing women to join their ranks, and retaining them. 

That sounds pretty familiar. Recruiting female officers is clearly still a work in progress.


About the Author
Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot
Managing Editor
View Bio
Page 1 of 494
Next Page