SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois State Police announced it was joining the national “30×30” pledge to bring more women into law enforcement by 2030.
The initiative is a series of actions that include implementing strategies and solutions to eliminate barriers and reach 30% of women in police recruit classes.
“Police work isn’t just muscle. It’s your brain muscle. It’s being intelligent, it’s knowing how to speak to people, and serving and protecting with the tools and the training that the police academy gives you,” said Lieutenant Heather Hansen.
Research suggests women officers use less excessive force and are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate.
“Maybe they need that mother figure, that sister figure, that daughter figure. And that’s a purpose that we serve. Everybody needs to communicate in a different way,” said Hansen.
“The Illinois State Police is committed to a diverse force that reflects the communities we serve. We are honored to make this commitment because we know that a fair and equitable workplace attracts women to the ISP and supports their success throughout their careers,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.
“We are grateful to the Illinois State Police for being one of the first in the nation to commit to being a part of this growing movement” said Maureen McGough, co-founder of the 30×30 Initiative, Chief of Staff of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, and former policing expert at the U.S. Department of Justice.“We believe strongly that advancing women in policing is critical to improving public safety outcomes. We look forward to having more agencies follow the Illinois State Police lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing.”
According to the ISP, women make up only 12% of sworn officers, and 3% of police leadership in the U.S.
ISP is currently looking to hire new patrol officers.