Sunday, May 29, 2011

Women in combat: my comment in Washington post

My comment to:

Eighth grade math:
If 10% of the police force doesn't handle 5% of the time -- even if it comprises 50% of the job -- the public will have a difficult time observing this.
If the NYC fire department hires almost 30 women a year for 30 years and there are still only 30 left on the job (half indoors?; 12 of the first 38 ever opted for light duty, e.g., public relations, right out of the academy) the public cannot see them not perform.
If half the prison guards cannot perform the public will never see it. The part of Rikers Island I used to visit weekly -- the 16 to 20 years old -- is now totally out of control (see recent story in "New York Magazine").
If half the court officers cannot handle the job prisoners must enter the courtroom in chains. In my years of going to court in the Bronx in the '70s they were brought in for arraignments in street clothes. 4 NYC court officers recently injured when judge insisted on removing chains.

Of course the rigor and aggression required of a Marine grunt pales compared to that needed to be a big city court officer.

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