Sep 12, 2013

Queensland Police Pay Lip(ton) Service to Equality

The Queensland Police Service has denied allegations of sexism in its ranks, describing its female officers as a vitally important and attractive part of the force.

A review of the state’s emergency services by former AFP commissioner Mick Keelty highlighted examples of senior policewomen being asked to make tea at meetings.

“We don’t believe sexism is rampant in the QPS,” said Deputy Commissioner Russ McSweeney, sipping on a Twinings Earl Grey.

“Our female officers are treated with respect and dignity, nothing to do with cuppas or cup sizes,” he said. 

Deputy Commissioner McSweeney cited a recent case in which 29-year-old Constable Sheryl Jones was celebrated for her efforts in arresting a suspected shoplifter in the Queen Street Mall.

“She held the bloke down during a struggle, during which time buttons were ripped off her uniform issue shirtfront, exposing her lace bra,” he said.

“The boys made sure they took photographic evidence on their smartphones so Constable Jones could be appropriately honoured that Friday night at the pub.”

Deputy Commissioner McSweeney said the incident proved that highly skilled female officers were part of a well-rounded police service.

“Some of them are very well-rounded indeed,” he said.

Detective Inspector Maureen Srakowski said the service was a more positive place for women officers than when she first joined up.

“It was common in the early 1990s to receive a lot of abuse on call outs,” she said.

“It made sense - we were invading someone’s space and forcing them to improve their behaviour to a standard acceptable to the community.

Constable Mavis Duncan was poached by
the Academy while working at Starbucks.
“But still, it made it hard to actually get out of the paddywagon and arrest some bad guys.”

DI Srakowski, now a widely recognised expert in organised crime and drug trafficking, said anti-discrimination and workplace safety training had come along in leaps and bounds.

“Now I can go days without hearing a single ‘Remember your gun, sugartits?’”

Deputy Commissioner McSweeney said the key to building confidence and respect for female recruits lay in providing a variety of challenging opportunities.

“For example, C.I.B just purchased a new Nespresso machine, so we’ll have a range of coffee options for upcoming meetings as well,” he said.

“If they can make that cream frothing thing work, I say go the femmos.”

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