Days ahead of National Police Women Day, female law enforcement officers from departments throughout the county gather to celebrate.

Women in law enforcement throughout Kalamazoo County came together to be honored and recognized for their sacrifices and dedication to our communities. The officers were from Portage Public Safety, Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, Kalamazoo Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, and Western Michigan University Public Safety. The gathering was to coincide with National Police Women Day, which falls on September 12th. The women with badges were each presented with a rose following an all female patrol in the morning, then a luncheon.

According to Wikipedia, women made up 11.9% of police officers in the United States in 2014. Many in law enforcement today say that is something they are trying to change. It's not just getting more women in law enforcement roles but hiring more women into leadership positions. Just three years ago, the City of Kalamazoo named its first female police chief when then Deputy Chief Karianne Thomas was named the new Public Safety Chief following an already 23-year career with the city. Kalamazoo is home to the largest combined public safety organization in America.

Some women in law enforcement today say recruitment needs to start with the young. When kids begin thinking about what they want to be when they grow up and the normalization of women in police roles.

The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) is the first organization established to address the unique needs of women holding senior management positions in law enforcement. The NAWLEE mission is to serve and further the interests of women executives and those who aspire to be executives in law enforcement. NAWLEE also provides mentoring opportunities for women at all stages of their careers.

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