GWC Police Academy sees an increase in female cadets
Is Blue the New Black? Over 25% of the cadets in the current Police Academy class at GWC’s Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) are women. This is a significant increase over the number of female cadets at the Academy in recent years. Historically, only a small percentage of women are interested in law enforcement, despite the fact that agencies throughout the state express the need for more female officers. But that may be changing.
“When we have female cadets, they are actively sought out by local agencies. They are considered an invaluable asset to law enforcement, we just don’t see enough women interested in the profession,” according to Steve Ames, CJTC Coordinator. “Law enforcement offers great career opportunities for women, and many of our female graduates are highly successful such as Jackie Gomez-Whiteley, Cypress Police Chief. ”
Ames is thrilled to see the increase in female enrollment. Some of these women are bilingual—a large asset in law enforcement. One cadet is GWC’s own Annie Nguyen, former campus security professional, and three cadets have already been recruited and are sponsored by Irvine PD.
When the group was asked about their interest in becoming a peace officer, their answers were not gender specific, “ I’ve wanted to be a police officer since I was nine years old,” “I am following a family’s tradition,” “I want to give back to the community,” “I want to be a good role model,” “I feel a moral obligation to contribute to society.”
The Police Academy Regular Basic Course is an intensive 24-week program. Of the many challenges that all cadets experience in this course, women typically struggle with their upper body strength. However, it is stated that women generally excel in their writing skills and in their ability to de-escalate situations. On the job, female officers hold the same positions as their male counterparts in all areas of law enforcement.
Programs offered at the Criminal Justice Training Center meet the constantly changing training needs of the law enforcement profession. The state certification standards for police officers are established and mandated by the State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.).
Information about the CJTC is at www.goldenwestcollege.edu/cjtc