Putting the 'she' in shield: Eugene PD holds female officer course

Putting the 'she' in shield: Eugene PD holds female officer course

EUGENE, Ore. -- People sometimes refer to them as they boys in blue, but the Eugene Police Department said they want more women to join.

To help their effort, Eugene Police held a nearly two month long training course for women interested in getting a badge called Women In Blue.

After seven weeks of intensive classes each Tuesday night, the participants were paired with “cover officers” for live training scenarios. 

From a domestic violence dispute to a DUII scenario, officer hopefuls like Sabrina Hunter were put to the test.

Hunter works as a community service officer for Salem Police.

“I have been applying throughout the state for the past five years,” Hunter said.

Eugene Police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said the program will give women the confidence and training they need to decide if this is the career for them.

“The hiring process sometimes has challenges in it that can easily be overcome if somebody knows the ropes. For instance the agility test… (we) prepare women for how to train for that,” said McLaughlin.

Katie Johnson said she is committed to becoming an officer, and sees Women In Blue as a foot in the door.

“If anything it might be easier because they are trying to get women involved,” said Johnson.

Eugene Police said the seven-week course was free and the participants had to be over 20 to apply.