Durham police chief: 'It's important for women to be in nontraditional roles'
Posted August 30
Durham, N.C. — Being a woman in a leadership role in a male-dominant field has its challenges and a North Carolina Central University forum called “Women in Policing” tackled that challenge Tuesday night.
Morrisville Police Chief Patrice Andrews and Durham Police Chief Cerelyn Davis both have unique stories about how they came into law enforcement, but their stories have similarities as it relates to climbing the ranks as women.
In spite of battling sexism on the job at the onset of their careers, both say they’re hopeful for women in law enforcement today.
“What happened to me in my personal experience might not be the experiences of young officers, young female officers coming through today,” Andrews said.
NCCU’s Criminal Justice Department invited forum participants to delve into the challenged faced by women in law enforcement but also took a look at the inherent strengths women have in leadership roles.
Davis said recruiting women into law enforcement contributes to the greater goal of diversity.
“I think it’s important that we make sure we’re diverse. We introduce creativity in our work and there’s a lot of room for that,” she said.
More than 170 students packed the lecture that touched on a number of topics including sexism and gender discrimination as well as race, community policing tactics and current events.
Davis and Andrews were candid in admitting to aspects of law enforcement they would like to change but encouraged young women to not shy away from the job.
“I think it’s really important for women to be in non-traditional roles,” Davis said.
“It’s all about just being who you are and not really worrying so much about being who you aren’t,” Andrews said.