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Why do I never see female N.C. Highway Patrol officers?

Brian Freskos

It’s an issue of odds.

Out of the 1,742 troopers in the N.C. Highway Patrol, only 48 of them are female, said Sgt. Jeff Gordon.

Despite a campaign to raise the number of female applicants, women have been dissuaded from joining the ranks of the highway patrol in large part because of safety and policy concerns, according to 1st Sgt. Steve Greene, the highway patrol’s state recruiter.

In an effort to balance the gender discrepancy, Greene said recruiters have been targeting females across military circles, female colleges, nail and beauty salons, churches and so on.

“We do get females to apply but we don’t get as many as we would like,” he said. “We’re looking for qualified applicants, but we’re targeting female applicants because that’s what we need.”

Greene said there are several factors that dissuade females from applying and completing the training.

The state highway patrol requires its prospective troopers to attend a 29-week residential academy in Raleigh, for example, where cadets live in dorms five days week. Once they’ve graduated from the academy, troopers are stationed outside their home county for at least five years, a department policy aimed at deterring any ethics issues. But those policies also make it difficult for applicants, females especially, with children or families.

“We looking hard,” Greene said. “But it’s been tough.”

Anyone interested in applying to the highway patrol can call Greene at (919) 733-5027 ext. 4, or visit nccrimepatrol.org.

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One Response to “ Why do I never see female N.C. Highway Patrol officers?”

  1. On September 2, 2010 at 6:24 am Anne Russell wrote:

    Seems like the Highway Patrol would understand that children need the presence of their fathers as well as their mothers. It is unfair to have a policy which makes a woman have to choose between motherhood and a professional life as a state trooper. I strongly suggest that Sgt. Greene do 3 things: restructure the academy to allow participants (both male and female) to also attend to parenting their children, post graduates near their home counties, and educate men to understand they are negligent if they are not nurturing their children. What now exists is predicated upon the idea that males have no responsibility for childrearing, a dangerous idea.

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