Department of State
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 29, 2007

On June 20, 2007, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Initiative for Inclusive Security, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars convened a police consultation to identify strategies for increasing the recruitment of U.S. policewomen for international civilian police missions. Research indicates that the inclusion of women in police units improves internal dynamics and performance, decreases the incidence of excessive force, and encourages community-oriented policing, emphasizing crime prevention over crime control.

Most stakeholders acknowledge the need to increase the number of women police officers in overseas peace missions, however, few women have applied for these positions. One result has been that, as of April 2007, only 23 (7.8%) of the Unites States' contribution of 295 police officers to UN sponsored police missions are women. The objective of the consultation was to bring together police officers, experts in international policing, recruiters, and leaders of U.S. police agencies to identify strategies for increasing the number of applications by U.S. policewomen.

Female U.S. officers currently serving in Liberia, Afghanistan, and Lebanon joined leaders of the National Center on Women and Policing, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, the International Association of Women Police, private contractors, and others at the Police Consultation. Together, the group developed concrete approaches to improve incentives, facilitate recruitment, and improve outreach.
This consultation is a first step in a productive dialogue among the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, its contractors, policewomen, and police agencies.

For further information please contact:

  • Carla Koppell, Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security, 202-403-2000
  • Susan Pittman, Senior Public Affairs Advisor, INL, 202-647-2842