WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Sept. 12 is National Women’s Police Day — a day set aside across the country to salute the work done by women in law enforcement and to stress the importance of hiring more females to become members of local and state police departments.
News 8 spoke with female veteran officers in the Waterbury Police Department.
“I think that sometimes female role models are lacking for some kids, especially in the inner city,” said Sgt. Kim Binette, who’s been with the Waterbury PD for 14 years.
The day also salutes the importance of women in police departments across the country.
“There’s an empathetic side to women and a lot of women that are in distress would rather speak to another woman,” Sgt. Binette said.
They say the day is significant for the message it sends to society and to girls.
“Women are accepted and moving up but there are challenges,” said Sgt. Binette. “You still have to show that you can do the job they [men] can do.”
“My mom always made me believe that I can get anything that I wanted as long as I worked really hard,” said Sgt. Nadine Amatruda, a 15-year veteran of the force, who has worn many hats in her long career.
“I became an acting detective in the sex crimes unit where I also became a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force with Homeland Security representing the Waterbury Police Department,” she said.
They realize there are many factors that may prevent women from embarking on a career in this line of work. They cite the risk, danger and child care concerns with sometimes long shifts, but they say wearing the badge gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Currently, about 8.5% of Waterbury’s officers are female. The national goal is 10% per department. A spokesman told News 8 they are aggressively trying to find more female officers at recruiting events, state fairs, and community activities.
“It’s a continuous effort,” said Sgt. Robert Davis. “The Waterbury Police Department is extremely dedicated to hiring women.”
There’s also an effort by Connecticut State Police. The CSP’s last class of new troopers included 100 new troopers — 76 are men, 24 are women.
These female veterans with the Waterbury PD say they work hard to earn the trust of the community they serve and protect — that includes girls who they know are watching them.
“I think it’s very important that younger females and males can see females in stronger professions doing jobs that are demanding that entail different skill sets,” Sgt. Binette said.