A Day in the Life of a Female Cop

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a woman in uniform? Have you dreamt of taking a ride in a police cruiser (in the front seat), running lights and sirens to a high-risk call and saving the world from bad guys?

Well, sit back, buckle up and try to keep your coffee upright as you get an up close and personal look at the average day of a female cop.

The alarm goes off and the first thing on your mind is, “I wonder what will happen today?”

You know that no two days are the same in the world of crime. You look outside to see what’s left of a full moon and think, “Damn. This isn’t going to be good.”

Some people think it’s just superstition, but any cop on the road will tell you that things definitely get more crazy and out of control when the moon is fully displayed in all its glory. Not sure why, but it certainly affects people – and not for the good.

woman night showering

You shower and get ready for work, using very little makeup and throwing your hair back in a ponytail. No point in overdoing it because you’re not out to impress anyone. Your only goal today is to come home tonight, preferably all in one piece.

Arrive at the office and head to the locker room to put on your twenty pounds of gear you’ll wear all day. Start with your bullet proof vest and end with your duty belt, complete with gun and handcuffs. When it comes to fighting crime, the more weapons you have in your arsenal, the greater the likelihood that you’ll win any battle that you’re confronted with along the way.

Look in the mirror to double check that everything is neat and tidy and head into briefing so you can get updated on whatever is happening in your area. Your commander tells you of all the B&E’s (breaking and entering), MDOP’s (malicious destruction of property) and A&B’s (assault and battery) that have occurred since you were last on patrol. And, you’re provided with all the BOL’s (be on the lookout) that you need to keep your eyes peeled for during the course of your shift.

B.S. with the guys for a minute, grab your coffee and bag full of gear (such as first aid and all-weather gear) and head to the cruiser. Check your trunk to make sure you have a spare tire, jack and flares in case a motorist needs assistance and go through the back seat to make sure the last bad guy that was “given a ride to the county motel” didn’t stash anything in the seat crack for the next bad guy to find.

Call into service with dispatch, and you’re ready to begin your shift. Finally.

Being a road cop means that you can be called to any sort of scene – from a barking dog to a homicide. You never really know what you’re going to get into next until you hear the crackle of the radio and the voice of the dispatcher telling you where you’re needed and why.

If you’re lucky, the call you’re sent on isn’t too serious, but you can never let your guard down.

What is told to you as a neighbor dispute can very easily turn out to be something else when you get on scene. When people are excited, information has a way of getting extremely muddied so you have to be on your toes at all times.

Since the radio is pretty quiet, you decide to do a few traffic stops. These are some of the most dangerous times for officers because you never know the intentions of the driver. Police are shot at every day by people that are pulled over for minor infractions such as speeding or having a tail light out. And, you don’t realize how hard it is to see into a car until you’re actually trying to approach one tactically.

Your goal with traffic stops isn’t to give tickets, despite public perception. You simply want the drivers to obey the law.

police detective woman out protecting and serving the public

You’ve been on too many accident scenes and delivered too many death notifications to horrified families when they could have so easily been prevented.

After handing out a few warnings to “slow it down” and “buckle up,” you’re dispatched to your first call – domestic violence in progress. When you’re dealing with such intimate relationships as in domestic situations, tempers flare and people can get unreasonable in a hurry. And, you can’t overlook the victim because even if they’ve just been beaten bloody by their partner, they can still get angry with you if you try to take their loved one away.

You go and try to calm the people down to sort out what happened. Everyone is screaming and agitated, so when backup arrives you separate the parties and get each person’s side of the story. Luckily no one was assaulted today; it was just a verbal fight. You convince one party to leave to cool down, thank the other officer for responding and clear the scene.

If all goes well, you get to stop for lunch. But, since you’re smart, you grabbed a protein bar when you left the house because you’ve spent one too many shifts not having time to eat because you’re running from call to call.

female police officer sitting in her patrol car

On your way to the next complaint, you get behind a car that is exceeding the posted speed limit. You try to initiate a stop, only to find a driver that doesn’t want to obey the law. The car takes off and you give chase. Not only are you trying to get a bad guy off the streets, but you have to watch out for all the other innocent people on the roads at the same time you’re trying to catch him.

You chase the car at speeds above 100 mph over hills and around curves. Your heart is beating out of your chest, yet you still have to speak calmly as you keep dispatch updated with your current location so help can be en route to stop this person who is showing no regard for the rest of the world.

Suddenly, without notice, the car stops and the driver runs. You give chase through the woods trying to catch up without hurting yourself in the process. Luckily, you’ve kept yourself in good physical shape for times like these.

His years of crime have been hard on his body, which is to your advantage. Huffing and puffing, you finally catch him and wrestle him to the ground, cuffing him without incident. Not all foot chases end this favorably, so you say a prayer of thanks and begin your walk back to your patrol car, suspect in hand.

Remember, you have to take the person that just risked your life and everyone else’s and treat him with professionalism and courtesy so as not to violate his rights.

Yes, even though he’s a dirt bag that keeps calling you “Bitch” and “Slut” and spitting in your face, he still has rights.

You transport him to the jail, listening to his insults all the way, and book him so you can start your paperwork. It’s going to take you two hours to complete all the necessary forms for a chase that lasted all of fifteen minutes. That’s how police work goes.

Before you know it, you’ve made it through your shift and have survived to live another day. You go back into briefing and tell the next officers on duty about all you’ve done so they learn what they need to know to make sure they go home to their families once their duty is complete.

You strip yourself of your gear, unpeeling the day’s filth and negativity with it and go home to your family, pretending like it was just another day at the office. You have to let everything go so that work stays at work and you can enjoy your home life. If you don’t, you’ll go crazy.

As you get ready for bed, you say your prayers and thank God that your life isn’t like those that you saw out on the road today. You give gratitude for all the wonderful things that you’re blessed with and the fantastic family and friends that you have to support you along the way.

Then, you close your eyes hoping that the day’s happenings stay out of your dreams and knowing that you’ll go through it all over again tomorrow.

Yes, being a female cop is stressful and sometimes thankless, but it’s also rewarding. There’s nothing better than consoling a person in need or helping someone in pain. You have to see some of the worst in humanity, but you also experience some of the best.

You do it because you want to. You simply give to others what you would want given to your family, if it was them in a bad situation.

No, police work isn’t for everyone, but for me it has been a fantastic experience. So, what do you think? Ready to gear up and save the world?

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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