The Unique Value of Women Officers By Lauren Gill


In January 2021, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston promoted Susan Cotter, a 31-year veteran, to major of the patrol bureau. Cotter had joined the sheriff’s office in 1991, first working at the jail, then as a drill instructor, patrol deputy, accident- and auto-theft investigator, and instructor. Her new role as patrol major made her the first woman to fill the position since the sheriff’s office was founded in 1837. Now, she is one of two women working in the 14 sworn officer leadership positions.

Women can do the job just like a male officer can do the job,” Cotter said. ​And sometimes we just offer a different perspective, perhaps, than a male officer might offer.”


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