Minn. PD launches effort to recruit female officers with virtual simulator event

Young women between the ages of 14 and 18 walked through various virtual training scenarios to experience a day in the life of a police officer

By Ashley Silver

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Last week, young women between the ages of 14 and 18 participated in immersive video training scenarios to experience a day in the life of a police officer.

The Brooklyn Park Police Department’s “Wonder Woman” event is a part of their 30x30 pledge, which aims to increase the number of female sworn officers working in the department to 30% by 2030.

Kennaria Hopkins, a senior at Anoka-Hennepin Regional High School, signed up for the event because she was curious about what type of things officers experience: “I wanted to learn more about what officers do,” Hopkins told CCX Media.

Hopkins was excited to see officers who look like her represented in law enforcement: “You don’t see a lot of African American females being in law enforcement. I mean, I haven’t seen one until today.”

Currently, the Brooklyn Park Police Department has 100 sworn officers on staff, but of those officers, only 13 of them are women, according to CCX Media.

“It’s not where we want to be. We would love to be exceeding that,” Brooklyn Park Police Inspector Toni Weinbeck told CCX Media. Weinbeck hopes the event will encourage young women to “step out of their comfort shell” and know they are capable of doing whatever they set their minds to do.

RELATED: Police agencies sign national pledge to recruit 30% women by 2030

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