‘Policing has no gender’: Mesa PD participate in initiative for female recruitment

Mesa Police is pushing for more women to join the force and is using social media to get the word out.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:49 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- On International Women’s Day, the Mesa Police Department wants to remind women of the value they bring to the force. Two years ago, the department pledged to reach 30% of female officers by 2030 as part of a nationwide initiative called 30X30.

The call to serve and protect came at a young age for Officer Emily Nelson. “I can remember being a kid and thinking about bad guys, and how they’re out running around and the police officers catch them,” said Officer Nelson. Now, she’s catching bad guys as a rookie for Mesa Police. “I feel so proud. I’ve gotten so much fulfillment from this career and also my peers,” she said.

As a woman, she’s showing the value females can bring to the force. “Sometimes, a person needs to talk to a lady. Or sometimes, a woman is just going to have a different perspective on a call or the right answer to a problem,” she said.

The Mesa Police Department took the 30X30 pledge in 2021 when its female officers comprised 12.1% of the force. However, there’s been a small increase. Currently, there are 844 sworn officers, with women accounting for 12.3%. According to the 30X30 website, 12% of sworn officers are women, and 3% comprise police leadership in the U.S.

We’re told Mesa Police has mentorship programs, hosts leadership luncheons and reaches out to high school girls to show what officers do on the job. “But we’re not ever going to shy away from taking other steps or trying other things to reach young women and to empower our female officers,” said Officer Nelson.

Mesa PD has used TikTok to recruit more women in the past few months. Nelson, who stars in many of the clips, said it’s working.

She also says women make up 21% of women currently in the Mesa Police Academy class. They hope that will help them reach their goal. “At the end of the day, we are different. But those differences can be celebrated and utilized to fight crime and take care of business,” said Officer Nelson.

If you are interested in joining Mesa PD, you can apply by clicking here.