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Fairfield, CA Police Department
Tuesday July 26th, 2022 :: 07:09 p.m. PDT


Almost Two Years Into the 30x30 Pledge, Fairfield Police Department Increases Percentage of Female Officers to 16 Percent

Chief Deanna Cantrell recently spoke about the results of Fairfield Police Department’s 2020 pledge to join the 30x30 Initiative to advance women in policing – and what that pledge means for the organization.

Two years into the national campaign, which hopes to increase the percentage of women in the field to 30 percent by the year 2030 (the current national average is 12 percent, with approximately 3 percent of women in leadership positions), Fairfield has seen a decided increase in the number of female applicants. As of this year, 16 percent of Fairfield Police Department officers are female.

A large part of that increase, Chief Cantrell says, is due to representation. She recognizes people can easily be discouraged from applying for a job when they do not see themselves represented. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it,” she quips. “If you don’t see yourself in a police department, it’s difficult to say, ‘I could be there’. Fairfield is an incredibly diverse community – but our applications haven’t always reflected that. So, the recruiting part is more about us getting out there and saying, ‘You belong here’.”

Representation also plays an important part in building trust in the communities the police serve, she says. “Part of building trust is looking like the community. Not only do people feel less like an outsider when their police department looks like them, but we [the department] also gain in diversity of thought, experiences, ideas and culture.”

The department’s pledge to advancing the presence and experience of women in policing does not mean other groups are excluded from the hiring process. “We have not had to lower standards or pass up qualified applicants. If anything, we widen the pool. The 30x30 Initiative gave us some tools to help us get qualified, diverse candidates to apply so that we have those options during the hiring process.”

Research has shown women officers use less force and less excessive force; are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits; are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate and make fewer discretionary arrests. Chief Cantrell, however, is aware of the dangers of stereotypes, “We both have strengths and we both have weaknesses. All women aren’t great at communication and all men aren’t bad at it. Sometimes we just communicate differently. Either way, everyone brings something different to the table, and together we can make real change.”

She also poses an interesting question to researchers, “What hasn’t been researched is whether the men we’re arresting assault women less. From a social perspective, are they more likely to do what I ask because they were raised by someone who said, ‘You don’t hit women’ and that lesson is still ingrained in them?”

In 2020 only 9 percent of Fairfield’s police officers were women. “We started the 30x30 initiative with 8 female officers among the ranks of our family of officers. Almost two years on, we have 20 incredibly talented women serving our community,” said Cantrell.
For media inquiries, please contact the Fairfield Police Department’s Public Information Officer at 707-428-7444.

Fairfield, CA Police Department
1000 Webster St
Fairfield, CA 94533

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-428-7300

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