The 149th Entrant Officer Class will graduate from the Kansas City Regional Police Academy on Thursday night, and I’m proud of the diversity it represents. Thirty-one men and women will take the oath that night to uphold the law in Kansas City.
We often talk about the necessity of a police department that reflects the community, and usually those conversations are in the context of race. That is indeed very important, but about half the community we serve is female, and our department – as well as most other law enforcement agencies – has a long way to go before we reflect that demographic.
This graduating class has the highest percentage of females that anyone on the department can recall. Nearly a third – 10 out of the 31 – are women. Women bring unique strengths and perspectives that can be lacking in the male-dominated field of law enforcement, and I’m happy to see them filling our ranks.
Last year marked the first time our department ever has had two female deputy chiefs at the same time, and I am confident that a woman will be chief of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department in the not-so-distant future.
We’re not going to take a rest now and celebrate. Obviously, more work needs to be done. Fortunately, this trend is continuing. The 150th Entrant Officer Class is in training now. Out of the 45 KCPD entrant officers, 12 are female. Our recruiters will continue to encourage females to apply, as well as a wide array of people from different races, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultural experiences.
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