California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 23

The first woman to be sworn in at WCPD in 1977 was Officer Patty Farrell (ret.). Officer Farrell said her ten years at the department were positive, but she noticed a lack of mentoring and coaching for her in the area of leadership. On her own, she networked with other women officers in the area which she said helped her career sustainability but there was always something missing. This experience became a common theme in conversations with other women who had served and retired from the department. We all recognize that gender diversity is of great value to an organization, However, a passive approach to achieving it, is ineffective. Chief Tom Chaplin was hired in 2013 and has influenced a culture shift in which candid dialogue about gender diversity is not just appreciated, but is expected. Recognizing that it is important for women to have women mentors and to see women in leadership positions, the department has taken a proactive approach to diversifying the ranks through leadership training and mentoring. The successful promotion of four women since 2004 into sergeant and lieutenant ranks has provided the female officers role models within the department. The women in rank are keenly aware they are mentors to all department personnel but they have a significant and unique responsibility to the other women. But more importantly, department leadership supports participation in networking and training opportunities such as the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement (WLLE) training symposium sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association. The support doesn’t stop there, one of the women on the department’s leadership team currently serves on the WLLE conference planning committee and is participating in a group that is creating a Bay Area WLLE chapter. Chief Chaplin said, “Fostering gender diversity is not just a nifty catchphrase. Real commitment to diversifying your leadership team and department makeup enriches the department and the community it serves.” This June WCPD will proudly celebrate 40 years of women officers serving the department. There is no better way to honor those who blazed the trail, both at WCPD and in law enforcement, than to remain focused on and committed to developing the future leaders of the department. To find out more about WLLE please visit: www.californiapolicechiefsassociation.org/about-wlle.  ■ 2017 Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Training Symposium (WLLE 2017) Brought to you by: California Police Chiefs Association When: November 5-7, 2017 Where: Monterey, CA Register by going to: www.californiapolicechiefs.org/registration SPRING 2017 | California Police Chief 23