IMPD’s Women Behind the Badge event aims to add more women to the force

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Metro Police says it’s already working ahead of a national push.

The “30/30 Initiative” encourages police departments across the country to increase their workforce with 30% more women by 2030.

For IMPD, Commander Ida Williams says they’re ahead of the game with its 8th Annual Women Behind the Badge event.

On Saturday, women can learn about what it takes to join IMPD from those already on the force. The workshop includes a look at the written and physical elements of the hiring process, along with a mock fitness course.

The event is free to attend for those 18 and older. Lunch is also provided. It’s happening at the IMPD Training Academy, at 901 N. Post Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Right now, Williams says there’s about 225 women within IMPD’s agency. While it’s in line with the national average, she says there’s a dire need for more.

“We police different. We communicate different, and all of those skills are extremely important,” said Williams, “and that’s what data shows is that female police officers — we use a different approach in policing. So being able to recruit, and get more females into this profession, is just really desperately needed.”

This week is also Recruitment Week for IMPD. Even though the department is ramping up efforts to get more people on the force, Williams says there are challenges they’re working through when it comes to seeking more men and women.

“There’s a lot of fear out there of police, there’s a lot of distrust, and as well as the job market is a lot better than what it was 20 or 30 years ago when I came on,” Williams said, “and so knowing that those are some challenges, we have to be intentional, we have to be aggressive and we have to go after those markets we need to recruit in.”

Williams says representation matters, and her hope is that other women will meet IMPD’s officers on Saturday and be inspired to make a difference.

“The goal is to inform, educate and be more visible so that other females can see, when they see me, especially women of color right, when they see me, they know they can do this job also.”

If you’re interested in learning more, or signing up for Women Behind the Badge, you’re asked to reach out to an IMPD recruiter.

You can call 317-327-IMPD, or e-mail IMPD_Recruiter@indy.gov.

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