Rapid City Police Department hosts open house to gain female recruits

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Less than 10 percent of the Rapid City Police Force is made up of women. This is something the department hopes to change.

Out of 130 Rapid City police officers only 11 are women. But recruitment numbers may soon change after the first Strong[Her] event. Strong[Her] is an open house aimed to employ more female officers.

Twenty women learned about the education requirements and some of the different duties police officers have.

Catherine Covey, a Western Dakota Tech student, says she is more than ready to wear the officer uniform. Covey studies law enforcement and will graduate next year. She says the police department needs more Native Americans and she is ready to represent.

"To represent my people and be there for my people. Someone they can look up to and know that I am there for them and for my community," Covey said.

It warms one officer's heart to know another Native American woman wants to join the force.

"It's really fulfilling. It's kind of one of my goals I've set as a police officer when I started here. It's really awesome to see people take interest and to see that maybe I'm helping that a little bit," said Rapid City Police Officer Santee Clemmons.

Women also toured the department and a few of them signed up for future cop ride-a-longs.