California remains the nation’s leading state that puts to work the largest number of police officers. In Los Angeles, these enforcers of the law earn an average annual salary of around $60,000, according to current data. Although most are employed by the government and medical industry, many hold significant posts at colleges and universities, where female authority figures are viewed as worthy contributors to public safety.

(Photo Courtesy of  Valerie Caldera)

(Photo Courtesy of Valerie Caldera)

“All our officers are considered valuable assets, due to a variety of knowledge, skill sets and abilities we possess,” said Valerie Caldera, a police sergeant at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). “Female officers tend to offer differing perspectives and communication skills, which, when combined with those of [our] male partners, allow the department to better serve the community.”

What is CSULA doing to place more female officers in key positions?

“Our officers are well-trained in all aspects of policing, to allow for a fair and competitive testing and application process for promotions and specialized assignments. We are dedicated to mentoring our personnel to prepare them for supervisory positions and assignments that pair their expertise with the department’s needs to provide optimal police services.”

How will a female campus police officer’s role change by 2025?

“Law enforcement, as a profession, is constantly evolving. As women, our ability to adapt and remain diplomatic in stressful and dynamic situations will aid in our progress. Responding to changes in a campus environment requires conflict resolution and crime-reporting practices that are inherent in females and offer varying policing styles and viewpoints.”

How should women prepare for sustainable careers as police officers?

“Women considering careers in law enforcement should be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and focus on developing a well-rounded applicant. Physical ability, training, education and familiarization with job requirements are imperative, and guidelines for meeting them can be found at”

What is your message to aspiring female police officers?

“The decision to become a police officer is yours. Own it, aspire to it, and know what the job entails. Volunteer or intern with local agencies and prepare yourself for a challenging and rewarding experience.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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