SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Police Department (SPD) has joined 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 actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion and agency culture. It also helps 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.
The ultimate goal of the 30×30 Initiative is to reach 30% 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% female,” Interim Chief Lenny Gunther said in a written statement. “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% 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.”
According to the 30×30 Initiative, women currently make up only 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership in the U.S. 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. “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.”