The University of Utah Police Department is the first and only law enforcement agency in Utah to join the 30x30 initiative, which aims to increase the representation of women in police recruit classes to 30% by 2030. According to its website, the 30x30 initiative is a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in policing agencies across the United States.
“Having a diverse agency is essential to us and is an important part of reforming policing,” said Jason Hinojosa, acting chief of University Police. “We want to promote all kinds of diversity, including gender representation among our staff and leadership to continue building better outcomes and interactions with our community. We will use this program and best practices shared by partners to develop further initiatives that address barriers to women’s advancement in our field.”
The 30x30 Initiative supporting research shows that women officers use less force, are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits, see better outcomes for crime victims, make fewer discretionary arrests and have other positive outcomes.
Currently, 10% of the U's Police Department are women, and women comprise 33% of the command staff. Nationally, women make up 12% of sworn officers and only 3% of police leadership, according to the 30x30 Initiative.
By signing the 30x30 pledge, the U Police Department committed to reporting on its efforts to identify and address the obstacles that women officers face in recruitment and throughout their careers. The program outlines specific data assessments and action steps for agencies to take to track progress and work toward the goal.
“Programs like this align with our vision and efforts to reflect the diverse and rich community we serve at the University of Utah,” said Interim Chief Safety Officer, Keith Squires. “We are committed to working to narrow the gap regarding gender disparities in the law enforcement field.”
After the Pac12 Chief's Conference in Colorado, police chiefs from higher education institutions committed to be part of the 30x30 initiative.
“This 30x30 pledge means we are actively working toward improving the representation and experiences of women officers,” said University of Colorado Boulder Chief of Police Doreen Jokerst. I applaud the University of Utah Police Department for signing the pledge and implementing strategies and solutions to eliminate barriers related to advancing women in policing.”
As of July 2021, a total of 10 higher education police departments have made the pledge.
During the first six months, pledging agencies focus on collecting baseline data and learning about women officers’ concerns, priorities and perspectives on culture, parity and opportunity within the department. They also commit to prioritizing practices to support women in the profession, such as ensuring there are designated lactation spaces, allowing nursing mothers flexibility in their schedules, ensuring all equipment for women officers is fit to their proportions, affirming zero tolerance for discriminatory practices or harassment, and prioritizing hiring and retention process that support women.
More information about the 30x30 program here.