Date of Conferral







Jana Price-Sharps


The purpose of this research was to describe the experiences of Latina police officers working in a patrol function. Latina officers working in law enforcement agencies must contend with an agency that is traditionally male and White, leaving these officers with the need to navigate territory that has, historically, not taken their needs into account. In an age where police agencies are attempting to better serve the public, the need for officers that fit minority demographic characteristics is necessary if police agencies are to continue legitimizing their space in modern American society. This research addressed some of the issues that Latina officers were faced with in their personal and professional lives. This research utilized tokenism theory as presented by Kanter and intersectionality theory as described by Crenshaw. It addressed the importance of human connections within the agency and the population that it served. Seven officers were interviewed on the telephone; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to understand the unique experiences of this population. This research found that Latina officers often reported that their ability to connect with the population it served as a foundational factor in job and personal satisfaction among this population. The findings of this study indicate that while overall, police agencies have made intentional strides to recruit and retain Latina women, there is still a culture of fear and distrust among the majority group. The recommendations of this research include creating policies and procedures within police agencies that are inclusive for all officers. The implications for positive social change include revisiting policies for minority officers to allow for enhanced inclusivity within their agencies.

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