This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department hosted a workshop Saturday dedicated to helping women learn about joining IMPD as an officer.

The event covered topics such as applying, the hiring process, benefits and challenges of being a female officer and skills testing. It is part of the national “30 by 30” initiative, which aims to have women make up 30% of recruit classes by 2030.

Currently, IMPD recruit classes are at 14% women.

“It’s important because this is specifically for women, and we really are in the midst of really wanting to recruit as many women as possible,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. “We agree to this 30% by 30, 2030. We’re about 14% on women, so of course we’d like to get more of them in there. We know that they play a valuable role in the community and in law enforcement.”

Chief Taylor said that right now, IMPD needs about 200 more officers for the department to be where he wants it to be, so he is working to get the most qualified people to join.

“My goal has always been to make the police department to look as much like the community as it can,” Taylor said. “We’re about 200 officers shy of really where we’d like to be, so we’re just trying to get the best qualified people to come out.”

Taylor said that IMPD is actively working to encourage women to join the force.

“Sometimes we find we lose a number of women in the physical agility portion of police training and we don’t want to do that,” Taylor said. “So, they’re going to have an opportunity to go down and see what kind of things are going to be expected of them physically and prepare for that.”

IMPD recruit Tarah Butcher said IMPD’s participation in the 30 for 30 initiative was partially what motivated her to join.

“One of the reasons I selected IMPD to apply to is because of their vocal support of the 30 for 30 initiative, and because of Chief Taylor,” Butcher said. “He has verbally supported women in this profession. But, not only has he verbally supported women in this profession, but his leadership action has showed he values women in the policing profession and his leadership has shown he thinks we add something valuable to IMPD specifically.”

Butcher added that a police department showing it values women goes a long way.

“I want to be in a place where I know I’m valued and respected, and IMPD has shown that and one of the ways they show that is by this event,” Butcher said. “They have room to grow to that 30% and I hope that I can be a part of that 30%.”