Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Former police officer visits Cerritos for Women’s History Month

Juan Ramos/TM

As a part of Women’s History Month, Alice Scott came to Cerritos College on Thursday for a discussion about the many obstacles that women face with careers in criminal justice.

Working 30 years in law enforcement, Scott faced discrimination in the field for being a woman, but still educates women who are going into the force about the opportunity it brings them.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for strong women who are ready to take on that type of career and take on the world because it’s going to be challenging.

“It’s male-dominant, but we still need women to get in there and take care of business and move up in rank.”

Scott had a classroom full of students in the Science Lecture Hall building, where she brought up the different promotions when she moved up in her field.

Starting out as a deputy in 1980, Scott was in law enforcement when women in the field didn’t have respect for being a part of the department.

According to Scott, statistics of promotions and employment for women in criminal justice careers are very low. Women in the force work with a male-dominant superiority, but handle cases just as the men do.

Scott has managed cases such as arresting drug addicts, taking custody of children from unfit parents and the world of prison systems.

Sociology major Evamaria Gomez attended the lecture and was surprised by the amount of disregard that women face from men in law enforcement.

“I thought the presentation was very informative. I didn’t know female officers went through so much. Throughout the years they face so much discrimination and have to work twice as hard to get respect in the force.”

One of the challenges that Scott mentioned in her lecture was the issue of a woman being herself in the force and having a family.

Being a female in law enforcement means having a family before you start your career, later, or not having one at all. Scott chose to have her children at the age of 34.

Striking her attention on this certain issue, sociology major Yoselin Petlacalco praised Scott’s devotion to her career.

“One of the dilemmas that I was really interested in was whether to be a tough  girl or your regular self. It’s a conflict with yourself, and she [Scott] overcame it and I thought it was amazing,” Petlacalco said.

In response to this problem that women have in law enforcement, literature major Brittany Fontenot understood the types of sexism there are in law enforcement.

“With the two extremes of the male officers in connection with how the women have to behave, it was either they were extremely tough on them to where it’s just rude or they were just coddling,” Fontenot said.

“It’s disrespectful and hard to deal with.”

Scott has been retired since July 2010 with at the rank of Captain.

She enjoys her life. While her husband works toward his retirement, Scott stays home and prepares her teenage children for college.

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Former police officer visits Cerritos for Women’s History Month