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Wheat Ridge Police Department spotlights female officers in effort to recruit more women to police force

The Wheat Ridge Police Department wants 30 percent of its police force to be women by the year 2030, a commitment to the nationwide 30x30 Initiative.
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Posted at 7:33 AM, Feb 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-12 09:33:57-05

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Wheat Ridge Police Department Patrol Sergeant Jamie Watson’s journey starts with a TV show she used to watch all the time as a child - “Get Christy Love!”, a show about a female detective.

“When I saw what she did, and the power she had, and how she handled herself, I was like, 'That's what I want to do! I want to be a police officer,'” said Watson.

Sgt. Watson is now living out that childhood dream. She’s been with the Wheat Ridge Police Department for 23 years.

“I love meeting somebody that this may be the worst day of their life, and I get to help them change that or have an impact on that,” said Watson.

Right now, just below 20% of the Wheat Ridge Police Department's sworn personnel are women.

The Wheat Ridge Police Department wants 30% of its police force to be women by the year 2030, a commitment to the nationwide 30x30 Initiative to recruit more women and increase representation in sworn officer roles.

Currently, women make up only 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership in the U.S.

Wheat Ridge Police Chief Chris Murtha plans on taking the 30x30 initiative one step further, by highlighting a different woman in the police force every month in 2024.

“I think this is why we talk about representation mattering. We want people to be able to look up and say, ‘that sounds like me,’ and then maybe they get inspired to apply,” said Wheat Ridge Police Department PIO Alex Rose.

No one knows this better than Sgt. Watson, who left a career in dental assisting at age 30 to pursue her dream.

“I think it's important because we as an organization, or even as a city, it's important for us to represent our community,” said Watson.

It’s now her mission to mentor other female officers in living out theirs.

“To change careers, especially later in life, you worry, ‘Am I going to fail? Can I do this?’ And I will tell you, if you have those feelings, you can do this. If this is something you want, you can do this.”

Interested applicants can reach out to Wheat Ridge Police Department Sgt. Dawkins at bdawkins@ci.wheatridge.co.us or call (303) 235-2908 for more information.

Wheat Ridge Police Department spotlights female officers in effort to recruit more women to police force