National 30×30 Pledge Aims to Bring More Women into Policing to Improve Public Safety, Community Outcomes and Trust in Law Enforcement
SAVANNAH, GA (October 19, 2022): The Savannah Police Department has joined countless other progressive law enforcement agencies in signing the 30×30 Pledge, with the goal of increasing the number of women serving the citizens of Savannah as a law enforcement officer.
The 30×30 Pledge is a series of low- and no-cost actions that policing agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. The activities help policing agencies assess the current state of a department regarding gender equity, identify factors that may be driving any disparities, and develop and implement strategies and solutions to eliminate barriers and advance women in policing. These actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion and agency culture.
The Pledge is the foundational effort of the 30×30 Initiative – a coalition of police leaders, researchers and professional organizations that have joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States. The 30×30 Initiative is affiliated with the Policing Project at NYU School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
The ultimate goal of the 30×30 Initiative is to reach 30 percent of women in police recruit classes by 2030, and to ensure policing agencies are truly representative of the jurisdiction the agency serves. While 30×30 is focused on advancing women in policing, these principles are applicable to all demographic diversity, not just gender.
“Savannah Police Department is currently 20 percent female,” Interim Chief Lenny Gunther said. “We know the value women have on the force because we see it firsthand every day. We are fortunate to have women represent more than 25 percent of our command staff at the rank of captain and above. These strong female leaders are motivating other female officers to join the departments and also climb the ranks. By joining 30×30, we hope to see these numbers continue to rise to reach 30 percent and to improve the representation and experiences of woman officers in our agency. We are honored to be among the first in the nation to make this critical commitment, and we look forward to working with and learning from agencies across the country who share our priority.”
More than 225 agencies– from major metro departments including the New York City Police Department, to mid-sized, rural, university and state policing agencies – have signed the 30×30 Pledge. The Pledge is based on social science research that greater representation of women on police forces leads to better policing outcomes for communities.
According to the 30×30 Initiative, women currently make up only 12 percent of sworn officers and 3 percent of police leadership in the U.S. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications. Research suggests that 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
- See better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases
“We are grateful to the Savannah Police Department for being one of the first in the nation to commit to being a part of this growing movement” said Maureen McGough, co-founder of the 30×30 Initiative, Chief of Staff of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, and former policing expert at the U.S. Department of Justice.“We believe strongly that advancing women in policing is critical to improving public safety outcomes. We look forward to having more agencies follow SPD’s lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing.”
For more information, visit www.30x30initiative.org.