URBANDALE, Iowa – Currently, law enforcement agencies across the nation are trying to fill open positions. The Urbandale Police Department is no exception, and its chief recently signed a pledge to make sure the department is doing so strategically.
It’s called the 30×30 Pledge, which has the ultimate goal of reaching 30% of women in police recruit classes by 2030. It’s part of a national initiative to improve representation.
“A big part of that is so that the community feels like they’re part of us that we are part of them,” Officer Holly Pickett said. “They’re part of us, and that they know when they call that they’re going to see someone that looks like them. They’re going to have someone that has special skills or special things about them that makes them then not just the standard what law enforcement has always been in the past.”
Officer Pickett has been with Urbandale Police for more than a decade. Of Urbandale’s 56 sworn officers in the department, seven of them are female. That follows the national trend of women making up about 12% of sworn law enforcement officers.
When it comes to the pledge, Officer Pickett said the department will begin by looking inward at its hirings, policies, and procedures, as well as promotional opportunities for women.
She’s thankful Urbandale Police identifies the need for more females on the force.
“There are special things about women that make us better to deal with certain crimes or make people more comfortable to talk to us about certain crimes,” Officer Pickett said. “So we want to address those things that are happening here at the Urbandale Police Department to make sure that we’re not falling short to begin with, with the officers that we already have.”
Some of those crimes Officer Pickett is referring to could include sexual assault cases, crimes against children, and even domestic violence against women.
Officer Pickett points out the pledge looks at more than just gender.
“Not only does this initiative address the disparity of women in law enforcement, but it also addresses other things including race, religion, things like that,” Officer Pickett said. “So we want to make sure that we’re double checking all of those things, we’re not leaving anyone out, that we are a very diverse department for our diverse community.”
Urbandale Police will be beginning the hiring process for seven openings soon. To learn more, click here.