30x30 | Women in Law Enforcement

30x30 is an initiative that’s designed to bolster the participation of women in law enforcement to 30 percent of sworn capacity by the year 2030. The Seattle Police Department was one of the first to take the pledge about three years ago. Recently, Chief Adrian Diaz ordered a report to assess the perspectives of women in the department in order to give us a real-time temperature check as a platform for designing recommendations that meet the needs of our workforce and for women in the department.

The Seattle Police Department is releasing that report.

“I think it’s fantastic and that’s one of the things we really encourage all of our participating agencies to do. We have close to 400 at this point, but to really get a pulse check and engage with their employees directly about the things they are seeing and feeling and experiencing in policing is really important. So, I think that says a lot about Seattle’s commitment to advancing gender equity in participation in 30x30,” said Tanya Meisenholder with the 30x30 Initiative. 

Women have roles in both civilian and sworn capacities within the Seattle Police Department today.

“When I first came on, there was very few women on the police department, and now, there’s a lot more women. We want more women, encourage more women to join the department but it’s just, women are more valued now, there’s more training for them. They have unique talents and I think those unique talents are put to good use in different departments and on the street,” Seattle Police Capt. Lori Aagard.

Currently, women make up almost half of the executive command staff at SPD.

“You know, for Seattle, sharing that information internally, externally, whatever happens with it says a lot about the transparency in the department as well because I would imagine there are some agencies — I know there are some — that will do this type of work and would not be willing to share that information,” Meisenholder said. “Now that you have gathered that temperature check and you’ve thought about what you’ve accomplished or not over the past couple of years, where are you going?”

“Our plan for action is to take the lessons that we’ve learned both from Phase 1 of our reporting on the 30x30 Initiative and, critically, the feedback that we got from the department, to better understand what challenges face women in the workplace, in terms of the shift schedule, in terms of the opportunities for promotion, understanding that while, again, women have been making incredible inroads into policing as in so many other industries, women also remain underrepresented,” said Seattle Police Department General Counsel Becca Boatright.

Aagard looks to the future.

“I mentor women right now. I try to encourage them to take promotional tests or women in the community to join law enforcement. So, my vision would be that there’s many more women that join the police department and reflect the community,” she said.

“We also need to recognize the profession is changing we need to think about what it is we need to improve the work force and for those that are gonna continue in the policing profession well past the time all of us are gone,” Meisenholder said. “I think you will have an organization where your employees feel valued and feel heard and they were actually listened to and the change was made.”


Sue Rahr, Interim Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".