According to the United States Department of Justice, women only account for roughly 13 percent of law enforcement workers. Many women experience harassment or don’t even try to work their way up because they feel unable to meet the qualifications. Still, there has been a steady rise in the number of female law enforcement officers over the course of the last 40 years, a stark contrast from the 70s when women made up only about two percent of all law enforcement workers.
Fairfax County Schools in Virginia are determined to empower women to move into law enforcement careers, or at least inspire them into thinking they can do it.
In August of this year, a group of high school girls got an up-close and personal lesson with Jessica Kane, a county police officer. Kane explained the nature of working in law enforcement at the county level, and even demonstrated traffic stops. This was all done as an introduction to a week-long program titled “Future Women Leaders in Law Enforcement.”
In general, there is a growing number of women pursuing careers in law enforcement, and Kane is passionate about seeing that continue – starting with the high school girls in Fairfax that will be participating in her week-long program.
Jane Burns is the program coordinator and explains that physical strength is not the only factor in training. Burns wants women to see that anything men can do, they can do, too.
This program helped several 17-year-old girls change their perspective on law enforcement and show them that even though it’s a difficult field that has traditionally been dominated by men, women are just as capable of police work.