Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department is working to support women in law enforcement. On November 9 and 10, FPD will host a conference aimed at providing quality training to female officers and non-sworn personnel who work in a law enforcement setting. The Southwest Women in Law Enforcement conference will bring together speakers from New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois and Texas. Topics at the two-day training will address issues faced by women working in a law enforcement setting. This is the first training of its kind to be hosted by FPD, and the department hopes to make it reoccurring. Chief Hebbe explained why the department decided to organize a conference of this nature, “In the United States, women account for approximately 12% of police, which is about where FPD falls. These numbers are not reflective of our population. There is a variety of reasons why women either don’t enter the field of law enforcement, or enter and leave prior to completing their careers to retirement.”
Some of the issues women in law enforcement face are the same as in any other profession: balancing family and career, gender bias and sexual harassment. Issues that are more prominent in law enforcement include a lack of peer acceptance, lack of mentors/role models and the perception that women have to “act like men” to fit in a male dominated field. Conference presenters will address such topics and share how they’ve overcome adversity, succeeding in their careers.
Law enforcement has evolved significantly over the last 50 years and is much more diverse than when women first entered the profession in the early 1900s. Farmington Police Department wants to see the profession continue to evolve. The department is actively looking to recruit more women and provide a work environment conducive to career success. “We are hosting this conference to provide support and encouragement to women who may be experiencing various challenges in their law enforcement careers,” said Chief Hebbe. “Women are an asset to the profession, and it’s time we recognize and appreciate their contributions. Studies have shown that female officers can be more effective in utilizing communication skills to defuse hostile situations. This is an area the department strives to improve on. In addition, women bring another perspective to the profession, making us (law enforcement) better as a whole and more reflective of our community.”
Eighty women from 18 different agencies throughout New Mexico and Colorado have registered to attend the conference. Sergeant Sierra Tafoya, lead conference organizer, said, “We are pleased with our first year’s registration numbers and hope to increase them in the upcoming years. We’ll be collecting feedback from attendees so that improvements can be made for future attendees.”
For more information about the SWWLE conference, visit swwle.org.
*Media is welcome to attend
Dates/Times: November 9th (7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) & 10th (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Place: Farmington Civic Center