News Briefs, police

VTF&W Warden Service pledges to advance women in policing, signs 30×30 Pledge

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Warden Service has signed on to the 30×30 Pledge to adopt a series of low and no-cost actions policing agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement.

The activities are designed to help policing agencies assess their current policies on gender equity of personnel and assist them in developing and implementing solutions to eliminate barriers and advance women in policing. These actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion, and agency culture.

The 30×30 Pledge is the foundational effort of the 30×30 Initiative — a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have joined 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 New York University School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).

The goal of the 30×30 Initiative is to have 30% of police recruits be women by 2030 and to ensure policing agencies are truly 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.

VTF&W photos
Game Warden Abigail Sera is one of three female wardens currently working for the VTF&W.

“This pledge means that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is actively working toward improving the representation and experiences of women officers in our department,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder, Vermont’s chief warden. “We are honored to be the first fish and wildlife agency in the nation to make this critical commitment, and we look forward to working with and learning from other agencies across the country who 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.

Currently, women make up only 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership in the U.S. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications. Research suggests that women officers:

  • Use less force and less excessive force
  • Are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits
  • Are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate
  • See better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases

“We are grateful to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Warden Service 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 Vermont Fish and Wildlife Warden Service’s lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing.”

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