The largest federal law enforcement agency pledges to hire many more women

Customs and Border Protection has become the second federal agency to commit to having at least 30% of its class of annual recruits by 2030 be women, calling its commitment “an ambitious but valid “.

CBP noted that it has a long way to go to reach the goal, as it has joined more than 200 state, local and federal agencies in committing. The organization that runs these entities is known as the 30X30 Initiative. With more than 64,000 employees, CBP is the nation’s largest law enforcement agency.

The agency declined to say in time for the publication of this story the current gender composition of its recent recruiting classes, although previously released data showed it has hovered around 20% in recent years for positions. front line in law enforcement. According to data maintained by the Office of Personnel Management, approximately 22 percent of all current CBP employees are women. Of the 50,000 in “investigative” positions, only 16% are women.

“We have made progress in recruiting women to join CBP as officers and law enforcement officers, but there is still an incredible amount of work to be done,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “Our commitment to join 30×30 is part of a larger framework for our agency to improve the recruitment, retention, representation and experiences of female officers and agents. Working with 30×30 will also help us identify, understand and overcome barriers to recruiting and retaining more women in law enforcement positions. »

According to the broader 30X30 Initiative, female law enforcement officers are less likely to use excessive force, are cited in fewer complaints, provide better outcomes for victims of sexual assault, and overall proceed with fewer complaints. discretionary arrests. Nationwide in 2021, the initiative found that women made up just 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leaders.

The organization has federal roots; the initiative was launched following a summit organized by the National Institute of Justice, a research agency within the Ministry of Justice. Maureen McGough, a former senior policy adviser at the National Institute of Justice, co-founded the organization with Ivonne Roman, the former chief of the Newark Police Department in New Jersey.

As part of the commitment, CBP will be required to share its progress toward reaching the 30% mark with the initiative. This will include both its “stumbling blocks” and its “victories” as part of an effort to develop best practices and lessons learned for the law enforcement community. The initiative plans to put in place programs to remove barriers to the advancement of women in law enforcement.

Last month, the US Marshals Service became the first federal agency to join the pledge. The USMS also did not share the gender breakdown of its latest class of recruits, but about a third of its more than 5,000 employees are women. However, of the 3,600 investigator positions, only 14% are women. The USMS said that across the Department of Justice, 16% of criminal investigators were women in 2018.

“We know that diversity brings value and more women in law enforcement will strengthen law enforcement and enable us to meet the diverse needs of our communities,” said Ronald David, director of the USMS. “We look forward to this collaboration, which will help us improve our organization and better equip us to meet the challenges of the future.

McGough at the time called the inclusion of a federal agency in the initiative a “huge step” and predicted that other federal offices would follow.

CBP said it joined the initiative as part of a larger effort to strengthen its diversity, equity and inclusion. In a report released by CBP last year, officials noted that the bureau was creating specific labor recruitment events, a marketing and advertising plan, and a data analytics initiative all aimed at boosting women in front line policing. In that report, CBP said 18% of its new frontline hires in fiscal year 2020 were women. That marked a slight drop from CBP’s 20% hiring average over the previous five years. Among new Border Patrol agents, only 8% of hires were women in 2020.

CBP said its 30X30 pledge would ensure “its ranks are not only more reflective of the people it serves, but also an inclusive work environment overall.”

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