Police join national movement to add more women

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Durham, N.C. — The Durham police department has joined a national movement to recruit more women to its ranks.

The Durham police are part of 140 agencies across the country that have signed the 30×30 Pledge, where they aim to ‘go above and beyond’ to increase female representation.

The pledge’s objective is to have women represent 30 percent of police recruit classes by 2030.

“For several years, the Durham Police Department’s sworn female ranks have typically been above the national average,” said Police Chief Patrice Andrews. “When I signed the letter of intent to join the 30×30 Pledge movement in November 2021, 17 percent of our police officers were women. A number of best practices the 30×30 program advocates, the Durham Police Department already had in place. However, this department fully recognizes the value that qualified female officers, and candidates in other underrepresented groups, bring for improved public safety. We look forward to formally implementing the 30×30 Pledge as part our recruitment strategy.”

Organizers of the program said women make up 12 percent of sworn officers and three percent of police leadership in the nation.

Some women within the DPD include Chief Andrews, Deputy Chief Shari Montgomery, and Deputy Chief Melissa Bishop. In June 1972, Barbara Loftin and Phyllis Thorpe became the first women to join Durham’s police force.

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