Thursday, August 16, 2007

Female Police Officers and Special Details. Unfair?

This morning's PG included a story about a female police officer who has filed an internal complaint after she was denied a detail guarding the Steelers because she's a woman.

Apparently, Officer Kevin Head was privately organizing the detail for the Steelers' hotel floor and opted not to include women b/c they might catch a glimpse of Black 'n Gold unmentionables.

"They just couldn't work the floors where the guys were with no clothes on. I
don't know why everybody's blowing this out of proportion. Really, I didn't even
think they took it like they took it. I had two posts that required the men to
be on the floor," said Officer Head, a 16-year veteran.
"This is where
they're sleeping. They walk down the hallway with no clothes on," he continued.
"I didn't put women up there. That was my choice. The Steelers didn't have
anything to do with it. The Hilton didn't have anything to do with it."

So Officer Head assumes that his female colleagues lack the professional skills or, perhaps, the tact to guard men who may not be fully dressed? Isn't that the same mentality that kept women sportscasters out of locker rooms?

My understanding is that details are arranged by individual police officers and not coordinated through the City, thus Officer Ferreti's internal complaint may not move anywhere. It does, however, indicate that off-duty details/secondary employment involving police officers SHOULD be handled by the City, not some lunkhead who thinks Steelers in their skivvies might be intimidated by women on the floor. Thanks, Luke, for screwing women once again.

It also makes me wonder about the other detail assignments? It might be interesting for someone to gather the data on the male/female assignments on detail assignments overall. Do women get to work as bouncers at the bars? I'd assume a woman who completed the Academy and works a patrol can handle a drunken lout as well as a man. Otherwise, she shouldn't be a cop. If you break the detail assignments down by gender, does the ratio match the ratio within the department? Do the racial ratios match for that matter? Maybe the Women & Girls Foundation should do a study?

What is not clear is whose sensibilities might be offended by this female cop/naked football player interaction. I suspect this is yet another example of the misogynistic thinking that pervades the local police culture - obviously, Officer Head believes that men and woman are unable to interact in a professional capacity without sex somehow being figured into the equation. So who gets factored out of that equation? Why the women, of course. I mean the women who are easily expendable. As our friend Maria points out over at PittGirl's place, the hotel probably doesn't pull the female housekeepers for the "special team" of male housekeepers kept on ice for Steeler Sundays. Female housekeepers are invisible anyway, but a female cop has p*o*w*e*r and must be kept on a tight leash, right?

It is just too easy to point the finger at Officer Head and tsk tsk him. He just got caught and is really just representative of a larger issue. Is it a leap to say that police officers who perceive their fellow officers as women first and police officers second may be less than sensitive to female victims of domestic violence?

So, to sum up .... the detail/off-duty assignment should be brought in house to avoid stupid situations like this and ensure a fair system that does not hurt the taxpayers. The Steelers should invest in black and gold bathrobes. Someone should investigate the detail/off-duty assignments by gender. Everyone should remember to tip the housekeeper really well when you stay in a hotel.

And we need to keep our eyes on the post-agenda coming up on September 10 because gender dynamics in our police force are not strong.


  1. Sue -- Carbolic Smoke Ball has a commentary on this ...

  2. Obviously, that's a Photoshop. Office Tristan always *always* has a little gold flair on his uniform. Always.

  3. I agree, the female officer should NOT be allowed to do the detail. The female is nothing but a cry baby raggin drama queen that wants nation attention. Equal opportunity is bullshit and female cops know it. They just see the opportunity to abuse the system. This article makes me sick.