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LA Sheriff Finally Takes on Gender Bias

Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has vowed to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department (LASD), which has been under a consent decree to examine the treatment of women in the agency. LASD’s current head Lee Baca has initiated efforts to hire and promote more women, and to effectively deal with sexual harassment cases. The LA Sheriffs Department still does not have a non-discriminatory promotion test, despite a court order to level the playing field for women and minorities by altering testing methods. The LASD is also under court order to transfer more women to specialized positions, such as detective; women continue to be left out of these positions. Furthermore, the Sheriffs Department has no policy outlining its stand against sexual harassment or its standard methods for processing harassment claims. According to FMF’s National Center for Women and Policing, the rest of the country does not fare much better than Los Angeles in gender equity in law enforcement. According to its most recent survey, women still make up only 12 percent of officers in the largest 100 law enforcement agencies in the country, despite evidence that women are better at resolving conflict without violence and at responding to domestic violence calls.

Sources:

Los Angeles Times - October 16, 2000 and Feminist Majority Foundation

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