ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department has had a shortage of officers for years. Now, the department is targeting a specific population to fill its ranks: women.
They’re doing it through a series of ads circulating on social media.
“We wanted to kind of showcase what it’s like to be a female officer,” said Major Jessica Tyler, who heads up recruiting for APD.
She felt the call to serve, and knows many other women out there feel the same.
“Maybe they just need that little nudge,” said Major Tyler.
She said close to 20 percent of APD’s officers are women, higher than the national average.
“There was a significant amount of female traffic coming to our website, but they weren’t necessarily actually following through with an actual application,” she said.
A recent female graduate of the academy also felt that call to serve.
“When I got to college I tried to find internships and I actually worked at UNM police department for a little bit, and from there, just working with officers, I fell in love with it,” said Sara Aragon.
To try and reach more women like Aragon, APD put out new ads featuring a female officer who went through the academy, was a mentor to cadets and was also a Marine.
“She’s really the epitome of a model female officer,” said Major Tyler.
And that’s why her face is front and center of the ad campaign, not only showing the life of an officer, but also her life outside of work.
“If a mom has you know kids or a husband, that sometimes we’ll put our careers on the back burner for that, and I think that is something that women are a little bit more inclined to do,” said Major Tyler.
Other officers like Aragon said, you can have both.
“It basically just takes a lot of coordination, it does take a little bit of work, but if you’re working 40 hours a week, regardless, it has to happen in some way, and we have the four days off,” said Aragon.
The departments hope to find more women to help APD get back to full strength.
“Making sure that people out there know that a woman can do this job just as well as a man can,” said Major Tyler.