Diversity Coordinating Panel

The Diversity Coordinating Panel shall identify, study, consider, and determine those programs, policies, and initiatives that will enhance the diversity of law enforcement agencies internationally.

The Diversity Coordinating Panel will focus on issues affecting recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion which pertain to all under-represented groups, particularly women and minorities.

As a coordinating panel, members will work collaboratively with representatives from IACP’s Committees, Divisions, and Sections to assure a diverse perspective is considered in all IACP deliberations and to help ensure that a cohesive and consistent approach to diversity exists within the IACP.

Guiding Principles

The Diversity Coordinating Panel will work from a perspective that diversity is essential in enhancing, strengthening, and advancing the law enforcement profession.

The Panel is guided by the principle that workplace diversity enhances the tenets of professionalism, community-service, and the protection of civil rights for all persons working in law enforcement agencies and all persons in the community.

We will look to use inclusive language in all work products published, promulgated, or otherwise distributed by the IACP.

Diversity is more than identity traits… it is the cumulative total of wisdom of experience to include cognitive diversity.


  • Advocate that achieving diversity in the workplace is an asset to law enforcement agencies.
  • Identify and mitigate the real and perceived obstacles that prevent or inhibit minorities, women, and other groups not drawn to the profession from seeking careers in law enforcement.
  • Identify the factors that affect retention in law enforcement, particularly those that may be unique to minorities and women, and help mitigate factors that have an adverse effect.
  • Promote a broad perspective of diversity that considers differences in lifestyle, life experience, language capacity, and cultural perspectives.
  • Identify promising practices from law enforcement agencies that have successfully achieved diverse workforces for replication by other agencies.
  • Coordinate with other law enforcement professional organizations to emphasize and achieve a broad-based approach to diversity issues.
  • Develop a research agenda consistent with the preceding goals in cooperation with police professionals and academics, particularly those involved with IACP’s standing committees.
  • Develop a repository of information related to policies, practice, and standards that may have an influence on achieving diversity. This repository will be compiled with the objective of including topics such as recruitment; hiring; selection; promotional processes; equal employment opportunity (EEO) processes; fitness standards; assignment patterns (e.g., specialize tasks or units), mentoring programs, equipment selection, diversity training programs; issues related to pregnancy, child care, leave, and, shift adjustments; and potential adverse impacts of background investigations, evaluations, and internal investigations, psychological assessments. Additional topic areas may be identified.

Diversity Coordinating Panel Resources

In 2010, members of the Diversity Coordinating Panel collaborated with IACP's National Law Enforcement Policy Center to publish a groundbreaking model policy titled "Pregnancy" that law enforcement agencies can use to ensure their policies are supportive of pregnant employees and gender diversity. Find out more about how to order a copy of the policy.

IACP Resources and Police Chief Articles

Diversity, Bias, and Impartial Policing

IACP Diversity Coordinating Panel

IACP Responding to Sexual Violence in LGBTQ+ Communities: Law Enforcement Strategies and Considerations

IACP Policy Assists Agencies to Define Pregnancy Policies

Police Chief Magazine Guidelines on Inclusive Language

Policing a Diverse Community

Pregnancy Policy: Law and Philosophy

Protecting Civil Rights: A Leadership Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement: promising practices guide for law enforcement which provide executives with a basis for assessing and enhancing their own agencies' standing with regard to guaranteeing and promoting civil rights.

Soft Body Armor Coverage and Fit

Step Up to Law Enforcement: A Successful Strategy for Recruiting Women into the Law Enforcement Profession

External Resources

Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Report)

Awareness of Transgender Issues for Law Enforcement: a free, online training that introduces law enforcement officers to the concepts and dynamics of interacting with, responding to and serving transgender individuals within communities.

Black Female Soldiers Say New Grooming Reg Racially Biased:  (USA Today Article)

Body Armor for Female Officers: What's Next?: provides information on the standards for stab-resistant and ballistic-resistant body armor to ensure that female-designated models of body armor provide adequate protection.

Boston Police Aim To Increase Diversity On Force, But Challenges Persist In Hiring (WBUR Article)

Building Relationships with Transgender Individuals: provides tips and recommendations to ensure law enforcement agencies are prepared to investigate and respond effectively to community concerns and media issues related to
crimes against the transgender population.

Griffith Police Hoping to Expand Diversity (NWI Times Article)

Key Terms in Defining Diversity Language

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Guide: Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Employees: provides guidelines on how police departments should address transgender and non-conforming employees to ensure their safety and legal rights.

People in Jobs Traditionally Held by the Other Sex Are Judged More Harshly for Mistakes: (Association for Pyschological Science Article)

Police Force Diversity (Downtown Publications Article)

Recognizing and Appreciating Diversity in the Work Place: Powerpoint and presentation points

Sexual Abuse in Custody and Cross-Gender Case Law Digest: From the American University College of Law, this digest is designed to provide up to date information about the evolving legal responsibilities and liabilities for correctional employees and facilities. The digest includes information on legal decisions related to sexual abuse in custody and cross-gender searches from both federal and state courts. Each case law digest provides short summaries of each legal decision, outlining both the essential facts and the court's decision, noting instances where individual officers and their employers were held liable for their conduct towards inmates.

Sexual Violence & Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQ: an information packet from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center containing multiple resources focused on serving, engaging, and collaborating with individuals and communities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ).

Texas Law Enforcement Often Doesn’t Mirror the Communities it Serves (Dallas News Article)

Women Move into Law Enforcement's Highest Ranks (USA Today article)


Diversity Coordinating Panel Roster

For more information contact:

Co-chair Chief Lianne Tuomey
University of Vermont Police Services

Co-chair Assistant Chief Laurie L. Christensen
Harris County Fire Marshal's Office

IACP Staff