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Bloomington Police Department pledges to hire more women

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Bloomington Police are adding women to the list of demographic categories they will aggressively recruit to allow the department to become more diverse and representative of the community.

Bloomington Police say they will try harder to hire more women officers over the next decade.

The department pledged Tuesday to have 30% women officers by 2030. The current portion of women officers is 7% in Bloomington and 12% nationwide.

Police said they can take a series of low or no-cost measures to improve representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. The 30x30 initiative came out of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law and is gaining traction among police agencies nationwide. The National Association of Women in Law Enforcement also supports the program.

“We will be deliberate and intentional over the next decade in shaping our department's culture, hiring practices, promotional testing, and a mentorship program to help all officers' equal chance to succeed," said Bloomington Police Chief Jamal Simington.

Social science research suggests better representation of women leads to better policing outcomes in communities. Women police tend to use less force and less excessive force, are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits, are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate, and see better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases, said BPD in a release. The 30x30 project also said women officers tend to make fewer discretionary arrests, particularly of people of color.

Simington said he wants the department to be truly representative of the community.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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