When I was in the police academy, you can bet there was competition. There were 20 men and only four women. Of those four women, only three eventually graduated; the other washed out. We competed in the classroom, and we competed in physical training. It was fun, but it was serious, and it drove us all to be our best.

But once in uniform, and out on the streets, the time for competition with each other was over. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how tough it was for the first women to don the uniform and sit in a patrol car. A lot of them had it hard because of men who did not believe that there was a place for women in patrol. There was a kind of competition, the men trying to prove that women did not have what it takes to be an officer, women trying to prove them wrong. Now, many years after the first woman broke through and did the job, it’s time for the competition to end. Competition creates friction, and friction divides attention. It’s dangerous for police officers to have divided attention.

When I was in patrol, I worked with a male officer and I liked it that way. There were calls that took the both of us working together, and there were calls where one of us had more to do than the other because of our gender. A rape victim often felt more comfortable talking to a woman, a gang member often respected male authority more readily than female authority, children felt safer with a woman, a difficult arrest took the strength of a man . . . I could go on and on. Bottom line, I liked and respected my male colleagues and did not want to compete with them. We worked better together without competing.

I think life works better in general when we work together and don’t try to compete, when we recognize that we are different, but not incompatible. Strong women and strong men working together seamlessly often make an unstoppable team. In my books I make it a point to write characters who are male and female, different, but equal. God made us male and female to complement each other, not to fight about the differences or ignore that they exist.

The male and female dynamic in the patrol car made us better cops. The fact that we could work together on difficult calls benefited the people we worked to serve. If I can get that across in my writing, then I feel that I’ve accomplished something.

About the Author

janice cantore

Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels. Her twenty-two years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. She has penned eleven romantic suspense novels: the Line of Duty series, the Cold Case Justice series, the Pacific Coast Justice series, Critical Pursuit, and Visible Threat. Crisis Shot and Lethal Target are the first two books in the Line of Duty series, which wraps up with Cold Aim (July 2019).

Cold Aim is the most recent book from Janice and quite possible the best book yet. You can read my review here – Cold Aim.

Cold Aim