On March 25, the Vermont State Police became the first statewide law-enforcement agency in the country to sign on to the 30×30 Pledge — a series of low- and no-cost actions that police agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement.
The actions will help policing agencies assess the current state of a department regarding gender equity; identify factors that may be driving any disparities; and develop and implement strategies and solutions to eliminate barriers and advance women in policing.
These actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion and agency culture.
The pledge is the foundational effort of the 30×30 Initiative — a coalition of police leaders, researchers and professional organizations coming together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States.
The 30×30 Initiative is affiliated with the Policing Project at NYU School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
The goal of the 30×30 Initiative is to reach 30% of women in police recruit classes by 2030, and to ensure that policing agencies truly are representative of the jurisdiction the agency serves. While 30×30 is focused on advancing women in policing, these principles are applicable to all demographic diversity, not just gender.
“The Vermont State Police is actively working toward improving the representation and experiences of women officers in our department,” said Capt. Julie Scribner, VSP’s co-director of fair & impartial policing and community affairs. “To better reflect the communities we serve, we know that we need to continue making strides toward hiring and retaining a diverse membership. We are honored to be among the first in the nation to make this critical commitment, and we look forward to working with and learning from agencies in Vermont and across the country that share our priority.”
More than 35 agencies — from major metro departments including the New York City Police Department, to mid-sized, rural, university and state policing agencies — have signed the 30×30 Pledge. The pledge is based on social science research that greater representation of women on police forces leads to better policing outcomes for communities.
Nationally, women make up only 12% of sworn officers — and about half that for state law-enforcement agencies. Women comprise about 3% of police leadership in the U.S. For the Vermont State Police, about 13% of troopers and 15% of leadership are women. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications.
“We are grateful to the Vermont State Police for being one of the first in the nation to commit to being a part of this growing movement,” said Maureen McGough, co-founder of the 30×30 Initiative, chief of staff of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, and former policing expert at the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
“We believe strongly that advancing women in policing is critical to improving public safety outcomes. We look forward to having more agencies follow VSP’s lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing,” said McGough.
For more information, visit 30x30initiative.org.