Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?
By Miriam Raftery
September 29, 2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shots in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year.
Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy, before Olango pulled out a vaping device mistaken for a gun?
Multiple studies over 40 years have shown that women police officers are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers, the Washington Post recently reported.
For example, A 2002 study by the National Center for Women & Policing of excessive force incidents in seven major city police departments found that “the average male officer is over eight and a half times more likely than his female counterpart to have an allegation of excessive force sustained against him … [and] two to three times more likely than the average female officer to have a citizen name him in a complaint of excessive force.”
But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.