PONTIAC, Ill. (WMBD) — Advancing representation of women in policing
The campaign website stated:
“Our ultimate goal is to increase the representation of women in police recruit classes to 30% by 2030, and to ensure police policies and culture intentionally support the success of qualified women officers throughout their careers.”
The Illinois State Police (ISP) made the announcement that its leaders signed the pledge Aug. 6. In the announcement, a co-founder of the 30×30 initiative stated that ISP was one of the first in the nation. Currently, more than 90 agencies have signed on.
Trooper December Melville with ISP said she believes women are underrepresented in law enforcement, and that it is a problem.
Women make up 12 percent of the police force in the United States, and three percent of police leadership. According to Melville, ISP has 9.3 percent of female officers.
“Our most recent statistics, we have about 1,820 sworn police officers in the Illinois State Police. Out of that, we have 179 that are female. That’s only 9.8 percent,” Trooper Melville said. “So with the national average being about 12 percent, we’re only at 9.8 and our goal is 30 percent, we definitely have some steps that we need to take. We’re already behind the curve, so that’s why we’re full blast ahead of this.”
She said the new 30×30 committee at ISP is brainstorming low and no-cost ideas to encourage women to join the force.
“We’d obviously like it to be 50/50, but, like I said, we have a lot of work to do in front of us,” Melville said.
The campaign website mandates that the initiative be intersectional. It defined intersectionality as acknowledging “the ways in which people’s multiple identities—race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and more—magnify or transform their exposure to discrimination.”
Taking the 30×30 pledge mandates that participating police departments monitor and track their progress.
Research and guides for police departments can be found here.
The social science initiative is based on a report from a 2019 summit conducted by the National Institute of Justice.
The study reported that women use less excessive force, have fewer complaints and lawsuits filed against them, and have the public perception of being more trustworthy.