AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Police Department is working to attract more women to the force, starting with a recruitment event later this month.

APD Sgt. Carla Burr said the recruiting “come-and-go” event will be on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 8-11 a.m. at the Amarillo Museum of Art, located at 2200 S Van Buren. Burr said activities will be available for children and police explorers will be there to monitor kids.

“We want women that maybe have thought, ‘Well, I have children, I’m a single mom, or, you know, I didn’t go to college for this,’ or whatever their questions are, but maybe no one’s ever talked to them,” she said. “And so we want them to have an opportunity to come in and talk to some women that are doing it, some that had been doing it for a long time, like me, and others that just started in this, you know, in the last couple of years, and let them know that this is a great career. It’s a great opportunity and you can help your community and feel proud of what you’re doing every day.”

Burr said when she started at APD, there were 250-300 officers on the force, and between 18 and 25 were women. Now, they are up to nearly 370 officers and 47 are women.

“About 13% of our overall sworn personnel is women,” Burr said. “You know, a large portion of our population is women of all colors and so we want to see that in our in our police department so that you can, you know, be represented…”

She said there are jobs available in several departments.

“There’s CSI, we have bomb team members, dive team members, neighborhood police officers, patrol, detectives, you know. SWAT is available. Whatever you want to do, as a police officer, and as a woman, the opportunity is there.”

To be an APD officer, Sgt. Burr said there are a few requirements, including:

-Must be 21 years of age.
-Must be a U.S. citizen
-Must have a Texas driver’s license by the time you graduate from the police academy
-Must not have any felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, or Class A misdemeanors
-Other circumstances subject to the police chief’s discretion
-Maximum start age of 44 years

“You have to have the heart for it because it’s not just an eight-to-five Monday through Friday job, it is a career. It is a lifestyle. You don’t have to live work and breathe it outside of here. You know, you can still do all kinds of fun things but you do have to change some things,” Burr added. “You know, you can’t go out and, you know, do stupid things and not be held accountable for that. So it is a way of life but it’s so rewarding and it’s such a great, you know, career for the people that want to do it.”

Sgt. Burr said APD will likely hold similar events in the future to attract more women to be police officers.

Those interested can apply at the recruiting event. They will also have row machines available for people interested in the fitness test.