Home > Publications > Female Police Officers and Use of Firearms in the New York City Police Department

Female Police Officers and Use of Firearms in the New York City Police Department

Terri Tobin

Abstract
The mandate for police officers in the United States to be armed while not on official duty is
an area that has not been thoroughly researched. In 1981, the New York City Police
Department’s (NYPD) “Carry Policy” went from mandating officers to carry their firearms
at all times (both on and off duty) to one in which officers could use discretion as to when to
carry their weapons when not working. As part of a research study regarding the carrying of
weapons by off duty police personnel of the NYPD, a questionnaire was designed and
administered to members of the NYPD. This research has revealed that there are clear
differences between males and females as it relates to assignment, the carrying of weapons,
the taking of police action, and the display and use of the firearm while on and off-duty, and
the amount of stress experienced while taking enforcement action while not working.

Key Words: Women in Policing, Police Firearms, Police use of Force, NYPD