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Woman police officers, up in 70s, still a small share

The number of woman police officers more than doubled in the United States in the 1970s, and many were assigned to patrol duty. But they still make up less than 4 percent of the total and are slow to win promotion, a study said.

The Police Foundation study, funded by the Justice Department, found that during the last decade there was an eightfold increase in the use of female officers on patrol duty.

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In 1972, it said, police departments had 1.5 percent women on their forces. By the end of the 1970s, the percentage had more than doubled, to almost 3.4 percent.