COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- To protect and serve–more officers are joining the force.
In Columbus, most of those new recruits are women; giving the department the highest number of female officers they’ve seen in years.
More women are signing up to serve and protect.
Here at the Columbus Police Department, the list of active female officers almost doubles compared to 2020.
” One is a supervisor, she’s a sergeant over shift and we have one in investigation. We have nine female officers on the street and three in training,” said Chief Police Fred Shelton.
Shelton says as of May there are 56 officers in his department 14 of those people are women.
For Shalonda Hill, the dream of serving her community is now a reality.
” When I decided I wanted to become apart of the Columbus Police Department I worked really hard. I went down to the Academy in Pearl, Mississippi. It was very challenging and I don’t regret it at all. I appreciate the opportunity I worked hard for it,” said Hill.
It’s Johannah Owusu’s first year of being a patrol officer.
” There’s a part of policing that only women can get to. Our DHS system is getting better already. The fact that we have female officers that see the need that male officers weren’t able to see before and that helps us work together collectively,” said Owusu.
Training is mirrored for all officers during intense situations like domestic violence or crime.
” A call is a call. What a people wants when they call the police is an officer. An officer that can do the job and can perform the job in a professional manner. Our job is to protect and serve,” said Shelton.
And it’s not about quantity, it’s about diversity.
“I can see some of the things like the gaps that we’ve had in policing in the past that are kind of closed by female police officers and patrol officers now,” said Owusu.
“This is a milestone for this community because traditionally we haven’t had this many female officers,” said Shelton.
” This looks like a very bright future,” said Hill.
Three officers are in training and are expected to begin patrol after completing the academy.