According to data from Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), more women are entering law enforcement, a traditionally male-dominated field.
Wisconsin is setting an example for women in law enforcement. WEAU 13 News reported that from 2017 to 2021, CVTC’s graduating class has seen women graduates increase from less than 6% to a third of the class.
This year, 8 out of the 22 graduates from the law enforcement academy program at the technical college were women. In addition, more women are getting hired after graduating than ever before in the state.
Riley McLennan, who has worked at the Eau Claire Police Department for five years, said, “For our department, we have seen more officers get hired with the Eau Claire Police Department. There’s been a handful more that have been hired since I’ve been working here as well.”
McLennan hopes that women will gain more of an interest in law enforcement as more join the ranks. She believes that women can bring different skillsets to the force.
“There are victims in certain cases that can establish a better rapport with female officers and just having a different set of communication skills and tools to help officers on other calls as well,” she said.
CVTC, which has seen the number of women in their law enforcement training academy nearly triple over a year, is excited about the increase in diversity.
CVTC Director of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Eric Anderson said, “It is encouraging to us to have this increase and see this increase of women because it is extremely important that the police department, law enforcement in general, represent the community, represent the diversity of a community.”
Anderson, who has been an instructor there for 15 years, has been surrounded by diversity ever since he was an officer in Madison, Wisconsin.
“At one point in my career, my sergeant, my lieutenant, and my captain were all women in the city of Madison,” he said.
Lauren Phillips of the Superior Police Department, one of the students who graduated from the program, hopes that she can set an example for the younger generation.
“I think it is very important for all of us to show them that it can be done and what we can do,” she said.