The Female Force: Empowering Women in Law Enforcement

MUSEUM Public Programs

Public Programs of the National Law Enforcement Museum

The Female Force: Empowering Women in Law Enforcement

The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum (NLEMM) and the National Organization of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) worked together to provide this live virtual discussion focusing on empowering women in law enforcement.

Women constitute less than 13% of total officers in this country—with an even smaller proportion of leadership positions—despite comprising over 50% of the total US population. Despite recent efforts to increase representation, the percentage of women in law enforcement has remained stagnant for the past few decades.

How do women contribute in ways that differ from their male colleagues? What strengths do women bring to the field? How do they impact the safety of officers and the communities they serve? These questions and others were discussed during this live program, moderated by Kathy O’Toole.




Paula Balafas, President, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives


Kathy O’Toole, First female commissioner of the Boston (MA) Police Department, first Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, and Chief of the Seattle (WA) Police Department from 2014 to 2017.


  • Chief Gina Hawkins, Fayetteville (NC) Police Department
  • Chief Roxana Kennedy, Chula Vista (CA) Police Department
  • Sheriff Rosie Rivera, Salt Lake County (UT) Sheriff’s Office
  • Sonya K. Chavez, U.S. Marshals Service (NM)
  • Chief Jill Lees, IUPD-Bloomington (IN)