Toni Owens, M.S.W.


Education: Bachelor of Science in social science and social work (May 2011)

Master of Social Work from Park University

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in human and community development from West Virginia University

McNair Project: Women in Law Enforcement (2009)

Mentor: Don Kurtz, Ph.D.

There was a strong resistance against allowing women to work within law enforcement that continued for years. Officers and even commissioners outwardly spoke about how law enforcement was no place for a woman. In the 1970’s, LAPD officer Bobbi Squire said that women police officers were seen as “either lesbians or nymphomaniacs” and even the commissioner of the LAPD said that women did not belong in patrol cars because they could not be trusted with guns at “that time of the month” Approximately 40 years later, sworn police officers have the same job titles and job descriptions whether they are male or female. The focus of the research was to find out whether men and women receive the same treatment within their departments. Data from face to face interviews with officers from three different departments of three different sizes was analyzed to see if there are any trends that can be found involving treatment based on gender.