ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Studies show female police officers are perceived as being more honest and compassionate and less forceful than their male counterparts. Rockford is working to recruit women as 30% of its police force by 2030.

The Rockford Police Department signed a “30 by 30” pledge last November and says, currently, 14.8% of its officers are women. That’s higher than the nationwide average, which is closer to 12%.

“Even if the percentage [of female recruits] goes up half a percent every year, then we are winning,” said recruiting officer Katy Statler.

Statler said it was a lifetime dream of hers to be a police officer.

Now, she wants to inspire girls and young women to choose a career in law enforcement.

“Look, anybody can do this, including females and so, me, as being a female recruiter, I take great honor with that. I take pride in that, when I go into high schools, middle schools … they get to see a female doing this job in full uniform and they are, like, ‘wait a minute, I can do that too?’ And it’s, like, yeah! Yes, you can and please do,” she said.

Data shared by the 30×30 Initiative suggests that a greater representation of women on a police force results in better outcomes for certain crime victims and survivors, such as sexual assault cases.

“The females that we have in this department, they’re strong. They’re educated. They are ready to go. They’re ready to show the person that is standing to the left or right, whether it’s another female or other male officers that ‘I can do exactly what you can do,'” Statler said.