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Bakersfield Police Department encourages women to apply to be officers

“We’ve got about 45 women at the department."
Bakersfield Police Department
Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 01:54:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department is encouraging more women to apply to be police officers.

“When I first started, there were very few women. Obviously as the years have gone by, we’ve had more women that have come into the field,” said Lieutenant Marcela Haskins.

Bakersfield Police Department Lt. Marcela Haskins said right now they have 12 women in their academy which is the most they’ve ever had.

“We’ve got about 45 women at the department, sworn officers, and would love to see many more come on that are considering this as a career.”

Lt. Haskins said currently there are 400 sworn police officers at BPD, which means less than 12% of the department are women.

In that 12% is Bakersfield Police Officer Amber Isbell who also believes more women should join the department.

“You can do more than you think you can. I didn’t apply for several years because I was discouraged, and I didn’t think I could do it. One day I just said, ‘ok I’m going to do it’ and I poured my all into it and accomplished my goal.”

Officer Isbell said that while women may feel intimidated, they actually bring something unique to the table.

“We bring a motherly figure, a sisterly figure, maybe like a best friend. Sometimes when we deal with specific calls for service or investigations having that motherly or sisterly figure there helps victims feel more comfortable.”

Isbell said she’s seen how the mood can shift especially for special victim unit cases. She’s seen how having a woman present can help those who have suffered domestic abuse open up.

Officer Isbell said that while she recognizes the job is intimidating, it is rewarding, and she encourages any woman curious to apply.

“Do it anyway, push past those initial fears, be more confident in your decisions and actions. Do it anyway that’s what I did.”