Are Women Better Cops?

In some important ways, yes, especially as the job evolves. Cool, calm and communicative, they help put a lid on violence before it erupts.

Among the residents, merchants and criminals of Venice, Calif., officer Kelly Shea is as well known as the neighborhood gang leaders. The blond mane neatly tied back, slender figure and pink lipstick violate the stereotype of guardian of law and order; but Shea, 32, has managed to win the respect of street thugs who usually answer more readily to the slam of a cop's billy club. She speaks softly, raising her voice only as needed. While her record of arrests during her 10 years on patrol is comparable to those of the men in her division, she has been involved in...

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