HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – More than 900 miles. That’s the distance members of the Minneapolis Police Department traveled to the Alabama A&M Event Center Thursday, talking with students interested in joining their department.
One of the main goals was to recruit more women to wear the badge.
“I was a little girl who wanted to become a police officer and I didn’t see women in this role. So what do I do as a police officer, as a sergeant, as a recruiter for young little girls because you want to start there? » said Sergeant Keia Boyd.
Sgt. Boyd was born and raised in the “City of Lakes” and has been a member of the MPD since 2006. More than 17 years later, she wants her profession to welcome more women and women of color into the force.
“Traditionally, we’re pushed into social work, we’re pushed into corrections. And that’s what happens when those same skills may be needed on the streets, why not meet those families and our youth as they solve crime or even provide those resources right to their door rather than when they have already gone through the system,” Boyd said.
The conversation around the relationship between law enforcement and the Black community is ongoing and ever-changing, particularly in recent years. And the events surrounding George Floyd’s death happened in Boyd’s city, changing the way he approaches his job and the way he recruits for the future.
“By putting on this uniform, I own the trauma that the badge and all that brings. But to build that relationship, I have to continue to wear it and continue to see a black-bodied woman in uniform to help build those bridges,” Boyd said.
And the future is bright. Jayla Hall, an Alabama A&M student, interned in Minneapolis last year and she enjoys paving the way for greater representation.
“It’s awesome, it’s empowering. I know there are a lot of girls here on campus who don’t know whether or not they want to become police officers or not because of the lack of representation, so when they come to the booth and they see not only women but women who look like them, it’s such an amazing thing,” Hall said.
For more information about the Minneapolis Police Department, you can visit their website here.