AUSTIN (KXAN) – Working to diversify the force, the Austin Police Department hosted their second annual Women in Law Enforcement recruiting event Saturday in Northeast Austin.
Women currently make up only about 10% of the department. Out of the over 1800 officers, only 173 are women. APD is looking to add the communication skills and unique perspectives that they say women can bring to the male-dominated field.
During Saturday’s event, women listened to the background stories of their potential co-workers. By hearing their personal struggles before they became a police officer, APD Assistant Chief Jessica Robledo hopes other women will be encouraged to apply.
“I hope that these role models and their stories are going to kick start some people, are going to get people out of their comfort zone,” she said. “We are going to be able to spark that fire and they are going to say, ‘You know what I can do this too,'”
Those applying to the academy do not have a college degree, but they must be able to do 30 push-ups, 33 sit-ups, and run 1.5 miles in under 14 1/2 minutes. They must also be between the ages of 20 1/2 and 45.
Once accepted into the academy, applicants become Austin employees with a salary of $40,000 and employee benefits throughout their year of training. The new officers earn $56,000 with 10 hour shifts four days a week after graduation.
Click here or call 512-974-4211 for more information.