Fayetteville Police Department pledges to recruit, improve representation of women

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Fayetteville Police Department is making an effort to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement.

On Wednesday, the department signed on to the 30X30 Pledge -- a series of low- and no-cost actions policing agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement.

The pledge will help law enforcement agencies identify and assess gender equity, identify factors that may be driving any disparities and work to develop and implement strategies to eliminate barriers and advance women in policing. Some of the overall goals are to work on recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion, and agency culture.

"This pledge means that the Fayetteville Police Department is committed to, and will continue to, actively work with improving the representation and experiences of women officers in our agency. Currently, 21.95% of our department is comprised of knowledgeable and hardworking women, and we will continue to strive for our goal of 30%. We are honored to be among the first in the nation to make this critical commitment, and we look forward to working with and learning from agencies across the country who share our priority," Police chief Gina V. Hawkins wrote in a statement.

Organizations like the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives are partnered with the 30X30 initiative and they are thrilled to see so many law enforcement agencies get on board with the new push to get more young women interested in police work.

Executive director Kym Craven says women bring a different set of skills to the force, "The ability to diffuse situations...The use of care and compassion and thoughtfulness that women use to approach calls of service with is just different. And it's not to divide men and women but really to playoff everybody's strengths."

Women only make up 12% of law enforcement nationwide while only 3% of those are in leadership roles -- including Police Chief Hawkins herself.

Craven says that the new initiative wants to focus on all forms of equality as well as recruiting more women and she's certain every department can rise to the challenge.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.