With the exam approaching for thousands of applicants to the Chicago Police Department, a group of women police was determined to make sure female candidates feel welcomed.
The Chicago Association of Women in Law Enforcement, Inc.(CAWLE) hosted an orientation advocating for more women in policing with the support of the Human Resource Department, high ranking female police officers and the Superintendent of Police, Eddie T. Johnson.
The goal is to introduce women to the field of law enforcement, giving them a chance to network with veteran officers, department leadership and each other. Providing accurate information about the hiring process, the expectations in the training academy, as well as candid answers to their individual questions – CAWLE seeks to encourage and support all women considering this career by letting them know they are not only welcomed but valued in the field of law enforcement,
“I loved it! The part that I was most interested in was when the panelist broke down the requirements to become a police officer. That was very helpful”, said Alesha Carter who recently applied to take the Chicago Police exam on December 16, 2017.
Why women in law enforcement?
The Chicago Police Department currently has approximately 12,500 sworn members, with just 25% being female, according to Chief of Organizational Development Barbara J. West. West, a 26 year veteran, is the highest ranking woman in the department.
Both Chief West and Superintendent Johnson referred to the unique perspective that women often bring to policing, a calming effect and adaptability that supports the ability de-escalate situations of conflict and help build authentic relationships and partnerships within their community.
Diversity is a must! The police department must reflect the communities they are part of. To close the gender gap and get more women on the job, we must do more than invite them … we must inspire them.
“You cannot be what you cannot see”.