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'Women Behind the Badge' workshop encourages females to join the police force

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Posted at 11:01 PM, Mar 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-24 22:25:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s Women’s History Month and IMPD is honoring women behind the badge in the department while encouraging other females to follow in their footsteps.

On Saturday, the department hosted its 11th annual workshop that gives women in the community insight on what it takes to join the force.

“I wanted to make a bigger impact,” said Emoni White, who attended the workshop and wants to be the next woman behind the badge at IMPD. "Changing the stigma of only men can do it because a lot of men in my family do it."

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Women supporting women at annual event

The former teacher is now looking to continue her family’s legacy.

She joined nearly two dozen others at the Women Behind the Badge workshop on Saturday.

The event was started with the help of IMPD veteran Commander Ida Williams.

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It features a mock fitness test, allows those interested in the department to get their questions answered and gives them a look at what it takes to be a female officer in the field.

“Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges that will come to you because this is a male dominated field,” explained IMPD Nikole Pilkington over the Southwest District.

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Mock fitness test

“Just because no one else in a department or unit looks like you, don't let that deter you from going for your goal,” added Detective Lottie Patrick with the Homicide Unit.

Patrick is a veteran at IMPD who shared her experience as the only black woman in IMPD's homicide department.

“I came on the force when I was 32, so no matter how old you are, if you’re a single mom, if no one else in your family has been on the police force, you still can do it," she said.

The biggest goal for the department is to represent the community they serve. They hope to encourage more women to break barriers as female officers on the force.

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Women who attended 11th annual workshop

“Be a champion for other women," said Commander Pilkington. "Once you get in the department, our goal is to bring each other up not bring each other down."

Right now, IMPD mirrors many police departments in the nation regarding shortages.

They are looking to add more than 200 officers.

The department is also part of a nationwide effort to represent the community they serve by having women make up 30% of their force by 2030.

To learn more about how to join the department, click here.