One hundred years ago, there was one female police officer in the Rochester Police Department. Now, there are nearly a hundred. Still, it’s a small fraction of the overall police force.
Male RPD Officers outnumber female officers 8 to 1. Officer Christine Wilson is the department’s main recruiter and she’s is looking to change that statistic.
“We’re always trying to shoot for a higher number. What is that number… I cannot say,” she explains. “As long as it is more than what we have now.”
Of the 755 police officers in the department, 84 are women. Wilson admits its a male-dominated field.
But a lot of times when officers are called out to crimes, victims specifically ask for female officers. Officer Wilson says there’s been noticeable change in recruitment numbers after a difficult year of police-community relations across the nation.
“It has made it tough for females, but the guys continue to apply,” she says. “For females, that’s where it becomes a struggle at times.”
She says it’s difficult to convince more women to become officers; most don’t know if they can do the job.
So Wilson started the “Females In Law Enforcement” or “FILE” program. It’s a one-day, all female officer training session and a great place where officers like Christine can share their experiences and reasons for joining the force.
Wilson says she is proud of her decision; “I’m really glad i made this choice.”
On August 20th, there will be a training session for women who are interested in careers at the RPD, and the good news is that registration is full.
For more information on upcoming sessions and more go to www.cityoforchester.ogv/rdp-file/