On patrol with Portland Police: Why Portland needs more women in - KPTV - FOX 12

On patrol with Portland Police: Why Portland needs more women in uniform

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The Portland Police Bureau is hiring, and they are especially interested in hiring women. (KPTV) The Portland Police Bureau is hiring, and they are especially interested in hiring women. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

If you've ever thought about a career in law enforcement, now might be the time to make your move. The Portland Police Bureau is hiring, and they're especially interested in women.

“I was on a call literally last week, my partner and I were arresting this guy and he told me 'Hey you should be in your house pregnant, washing dishes,' and I said, 'Huh', well I’m not, I’m here and I’m actually taking you to jail,’” Portland Police Officer, Rashida Saunders, tells Fox 12.

Even with comments like that, Officer Saunders is all smiles patrolling the streets of downtown Portland.

“Having a personality for this job helps, having a sense of humor,” Officer Saunders explains.

But don't be fooled by her kind demeanor and 5'5 frame, this woman is tough.

“[Sometimes] I'm dispatched to a call and there are other officers there, and they say, ‘Hey Saunders, talk to this guy!’ and I'm like, ‘Oh, that's fine!" Officer Saunders tells us.

Officer Saunders is one of a few women on the police force in Portland, but PPB, along with several other law enforcement agencies across Oregon, are looking to hire more women.

“I feel like as women, we are great communicators. There are a lot of times when we show up on calls and we are able to deescalate the situation just by presence alone, and that's powerful. It’s one of those things we have to embrace,” Officer Saunders explains.

Gender aside, Officer Saunders takes her mission to serve and protect seriously, and she’s graceful while doing so.

Fox 12 also spoke with Forest Grove Police Chief, Janie Schutz, about the importance of female police officers, and she said in part:

“Because female officers utilize a different policing style and rely less on physical force and more on communications skills, potentially violent confrontations and are less likely to occur, or escalate into excessive force situations. Citizen complaints and civil liabilities therefore are likely to be substantially less. The implications of not having a representative number of female officers are clear.”

There will be a Criminal Justice job fair in Salem on April 29 to April 30, where Portland Police and many other agencies will be represented.

For more information, click here.

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