KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police and the FBI hosted a joint recruitment event Thursday targeting women.
KCPD launched a 30 X 30 Initiative in 2022 with the goal to have 30 percent of uniform officers be women by the year 2030. To do that they’d need to double the number of women on the force.
Officer Amber Hoffman has been a Kansas City Police Officer since 2006.
“I knew really young I wanted to be an officer I really enjoyed helping people and I had a heart for helping people,” Hoffman said.
Law enforcement is a male dominated field. Local numbers mirror those nationally with just 15% of the police force’s 1,100 officers being women.
“The misconception is that we can’t do it, that we aren’t strong enough and that’s not necessarily true,” Hoffman said.
But things are changing. At the first ever Kansas City recruitment event and panel for women, women heard from KCPD’s Chief and the Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge. For the first time in Kansas City history, both are women. In fact Chief Stacey Graves is the first female chief, following 47 men.
“I feel like this job you can truly make a difference in people’s lives,” Graves told the audience of about 20 women and one man.
They were asked questions about the physical requirements of the job and balancing the home and work life.
“I want to be the best mom I can, I want to be the best agent, some days I fall short but most of the time I can do both,” FBI Special Agent Trisha DeWet said.
They also learned more about alternatives, like the tremendous need for more police dispatchers.
“It’s very different, it’s very fast paced there is essentially never a dull moment,” Assistant Communications Manager Tamara Bazzle said.
Potential applicants also had a chance for one on one conversations with recruiters.
“I think this was a really good opportunity and it helped me to see what they do in this field and I think it probably helped a lot of other women,” Maddie Atwood, 19, said.
KCPD has 162 women right now, but that number will be going up. A dozen of the 43 recruits in Kansas City’s Police Academy are women, which is roughly 30% of the class.