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Breaking the Brass Ceiling Women Police Chiefs and Their Paths to the Top by Dorothy Moses Schulz

Breaking the Brass Ceiling Women Police Chiefs and Their Paths to the Top


Breaking the Brass Ceiling Women Police Chiefs and Their Paths to the Top by Dorothy Moses Schulz

Constituting fewer than 15% of the nation's police officers, women have found it especially difficult to rise through the ranks and achieve higher posts. Here, those few women who have made it to the top-about 1% of the chiefs and sheriffs in American policing-share their stories and describe the challenges they faced as they rose to their positions. Each of the chiefs compted for their offices with other candidates, almost always male. The sheriffs-virtually all elected officials- came under even closer scrutiny. While few in number, these top cops illustrate the emergence of women as more than token leaders of American sheriff and police departments. They are unique groundbreakers who have managed to breach the brass ceiling. Here is the fascinating story of how individual women are setting a pace for other women in one of the most male-dominated public service fields in America, second only behind firefighting in its image as a place where few women have successfully negotiated careers to the top. Who are these women, and how did they earn the top spot? Are they nontraditional women, or women in nontraditional positions? Do they share common characteristics in terms of family backgrounds, race, ethnicity, age, or marital status? To what do they attribute their success in the face of overwhelming obstacles? How can their experiences with education, careers, service, and assignments help other women achieve similar success in this field or in others? Schulz answers these questions as she vividly recounts the paths to the top for these determined and exceptional women.


This book is a wonderfully written compilation of personal histories of women in law enforcement careers....Dr. Schulz has written a book that will be interesting to everyone... -Mary Ann Viverette, Chief of Police, Gaithersburg, MD Vice-President International Association of Chiefs of Police

About the Author

DOROTHY MOSES SCHULZ is Professor of Law, Police Studies, and Criminal Justice Administration at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York). She was the first woman captain to serve with the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Police Department and its predecessor department, the Conrail Police Department. She is the author of From Social Worker to Crimefighter: Women in United States Municipal Policing (Praeger, 1995), and has published widely on historical and current issues involving women in policing. She is a member of numerous police and academic associations, and has spoken at conferences of the International Association of Women Police, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the National Center for Women & Policing, the Senior Women Officers of Great Britain, and the Canadian Police College.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 2004


Dorothy Moses Schulz

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Praeger Publishers Inc an imprint of ABC-CLIO


264 pages


Crime & criminology

Politics & government



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