A lot of criticism was heard regarding the fact that a
female deputy was escorting such a big, dangerous
man.  There's little doubt that a male deputy the
same age and size as the female deputy would have
fared any better.  Nichols' subsequent violence
showed he had a plan indicating to some that even
a male deputy equal in size and strength wouldn't
have changed anything.  But...by crediting him with
a plan, one must assume he gave considerable
thought to the certainty that he could disarm the
deputy.  If the deputy had been equal in size and
strength, one must wonder if Nichols would have
delayed his plan; until, a target of more certainty
presented itself.

One needs to understand how men think:

When I was a brand new police officer, I worked
with an officer who was amazing when it came to
use of force.  He was only of medium height, but he
was all muscle.  He never looked that big, because
his uniform never fit that well.  His winter coat sort
of just hung on him making him look somewhat frail.

On a number of occasions, he and I confronted
suspects who were definite candidates for use of
force.  I was considerably taller, and in every
instance, these bad guys focused on my shorter

Not one of those guys ever got past the first
offensive gesture, because that first move was
always met with one devastating knock out punch.  
The officer could take a punch as well.  As we placed
one of the officer's semi-conscious would be
sparring partners into the paddy wagon, the
suspect kicked the officer squarely on his chin.  He
stumbled back a couple of steps, shook his head,
and he went back to subduing the suspect.

I've talked a lot about the man's psychological edge,
but there are so many other factors when a man
contemplates resisting any police officer's use of
force against him.  Any man, aside from a true
mental case, always considers the possibility, or to
some the certainty, of retribution:

I was still really new when I became involved in a
particularly violent altercation with a suspect my
size.  I was very relieved when I heard radios and
saw hands reaching down to separate us.

After I checked by torn uniform, counted by various
bumps and bruises, and generally put myself back
together, I walked over to where the suspect had
been placed inside the wagon.  I noticed the
suspect had a laceration to his lip which I did not
recall seeing when I was pulled off of him.  I also
noticed a line of police officers trying to get past the
wagon man and into the back of the wagon.

The wagon man was one of the old guys, and he
was having none of it.  The sergeant soon arrived,
and the wagon man had his ear.  I then saw the
sergeant grab on to an officer who was even newer
than I and put him inside the wagon with the
prisoner for the ride to the station.

While retribution does not occur with the regularity
as it once did, bad guys still believe it does.  Police
departments are constantly in the process of
projecting a kinder, gentler image, but let's hope
the bad guys never buy into that image.

In my book, and on this site, I talk a lot about
self-sufficiency.  However, use of force is one area
where no police officer can succeed in achieving
total self-sufficiency.  Police officers quickly learn
that their safety, and indeed their very survival,
depends on their fellow police officers.

Feminists and others are very disappointed that
women don't comprise a larger percentage of police
departments.  Whatever the reasons, it's no
coincidence that height and proportionate weight
requirements for police officers were abandoned at
the same time women entered police work as police
officers.  While your height and weight won't be
discriminating factors against your employment as a
police officer, you should make a personal and
honest assessment of your physical abilities to
exert force and defend yourself.      
In 2005, the rate of assaults on police officers was
11.9 per 100 sworn officers - breakdown by sex is
not available.  In 2005, fifty-five police officers were
feloniously killed in the line of duty.  Of those 55
killed, only one was a female police officer.  From
1996 to 2005, 575 police officers were feloniously
killed.  Of that number, 29 were female.

I looked at the total number of assaults reported
for 2005.  The law enforcement agencies that
reported assault data to the FBI employed 485,048
sworn officers.  Depending on where you look,
females comprise 10 to 14 percent of the nation's
police officers.  Let's spilt the difference at 12%.  
Now we have 58,206 female officers and 426,842
male officers Since information on male/female
police officer assaults is not available, it's impossible
to know if female officers are assaulted at a greater
or lesser rate than male officers.

So...we're pretty much left with beliefs and
perceptions when it comes to your ability as a
female police officer to exert force against a group
which will be predominantly male.  However, the
only belief that matters is your belief in your ability
to exert force just as effectively as most men.  
You'll soon learn that few male police officers can
get handcuffs on another man who doesn't want to
be cuffed when it's a one on one use of force.  

There's no question that physical size has a lot to
do with any police officer's ability to exert force or
effectively defend oneself whether the officer is male
or female:

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols, 33, was being
escorted by a 51 year old female sheriff's deputy to
his rape trial inside an Atlanta Courthouse.  Nichols
disarmed and seriously injured the deputy, who was
half his size, before entering the courtroom and
shooting the judge and court reporter to death with
the deputy's gun.  He would murder another
sheriff's deputy on his escape from the courthouse
as well as an off duty federal agent, at the agent's
home, as he eluded capture.
Here's the good news...as a female police officer,
you can get away with a lot more when it comes to
the use of force than male police officers.  I'm not
talking about indiscriminate use of deadly force or
anything that is
obviously excessive force.

But...obvious is the key word.  To a whole lot of
people, any use of force by a police officer is
obvious excessive force.  To a whole lot of other
people, any force used by a female police officer
against a male suspect is reasonable and justified
even if the justification needs to be stretched a bit.

The feminists spend a lot of time complaining about
how female police officers are viewed and treated
differently from male police officers.  However, the
feminist view is always selective, and it always
dwells on negative or perceived negative treatment
of female police officers by their male coworkers and
supervisors.  When it comes to the very serious
question of force, the feminist view would have you
believe that, as a female police officer, you'll rarely
find the need to use any kind of force since your
conflict resolution skills are far superior to those of
men.  This is the view most often cited to confront
any criticism regarding a woman's ability to
physically confront and subdue male suspects.

Let's put aside all the back and forth by people who
simply have no idea what use of force is all about.  
Whether you're female or male, you should always
view any level of force as a last resort.  The
improvement of your ability to calmly, rationally,
and effectively communicate with people under
stressful circumstances should be a goal pursued
continuously throughout your career.  Never the
less, you must realize that your use of force is
inevitable.  The number of times you use force will
be dictated only by the amount of time you remain
in a position where your duties are enforcement

As a young woman contemplating a police career,
you might feel that the women who pioneered entry
into police departments before you were born made
the way smoother for you.  As a man who got to
see women in police work from the beginning to the
present, I see something just the opposite.  When
women first entered police departments to perform
the same duties as men, those women didn't have
the word "
VICTIM" stamped across their
foreheads.  Can anyone seriously argue that, in
today's society, women are not continually
portrayed as victims for any number of physical
outrages at the hands of men?  Factual or not, this
societal image of women does not benefit a female
police officer.

Here's the bad news.  All men, barring those with
significant physical disability, believe they're
physically superior to any woman when it comes to
the question of which can physically subdue the
other.  Whether the outcome of a particular physical
confrontation proves or disproves this belief is
irrelevant since it remains a psychological advantage
for a bad man, and a psychological disadvantage for
a female police officer.
Female Cops
and Force
"All men, barring those with significant
physical disability, believe they're physically
superior to any woman when it comes to the
question of which can physically subdue the
other." ~ Barry M. Baker
Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker