LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State Police are looking to increase the number of women in their applicant pools.
The challenge is that law enforcement agencies across the board are facing dwindling numbers of applicants.
“We have our enlisted side, our commercial vehicle enforcement side, as well as our civilian sector so there is a plethora of jobs to be had right now," said Sgt. Kellie Shaffer who works in recruiting and staffing for the state police.
But right now, about 9 percent of applicants are women, and they're seeing fewer applicants overall. In 2017, more than a thousand people applied. The agency's most recent recruitment school only saw 322 applicants— and of those, only 57 graduated.
"It's a continual process," Shaffer said.
That process includes recruitment events both virtual and in-person, even partnering with local universities and turning to softball.
“We are now working on trying to put together a softball team for women in our department, connecting with universities within the state and just being able to host a friendly game with some of the softball members of that university and also recruit," Shaffer said. "To let women see that, you know, we're not robots, we're women with lives, and let you know that this is a desired career to be had.”
Shaffer says the state police want to hire more women because it takes both sexes to get the job done.
“It’s common sense," she said. "It takes women and men to do the job of law enforcement and in the past I think the stigma was that this is a male predominant environment. But women are needed, we are an asset to what makes this job what it is for us and our citizens today."
The goal is for women to make up 20 percent of state police's applicant pool.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Neighborhood News, Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.