AUSTIN (KXAN) — Seventy-two cadets are anticipated to graduate the Austin Police Department’s 144th cadet academy Jan. 28.
Beginning with 100 enrollees this summer, 28 will no longer be graduating this winter for a host of reasons, including:
- 1 terminated
- 2 physical training failures
- 10 for personal reasons
- 4 for academic failures
- 4 for illness
- 6 for injuries
- 1 for medical-related concerns
Of the remaining 72 cadets, 10 are female and 62 are male, APD officials said.
Following questions raised by Austin Public Safety Commission members Monday, officials acknowledged some departmental challenges in attracting as many female applicants.
“Traditionally, we’ve thought about service [in attracting female applicants]. If you say, ‘oh, you should serve,’ we’ve said that’s the mantra that’s going to bring women in,” said Anne Kringen, division manager for training at APD. “The reality is that that’s not true. It’s about benefits, and it’s about a challenging job.”
She said the central challenge APD faces is bridging the gap between women interested in becoming a police officer versus those that apply. She added women are also lost within the application process and noted “horrible” data on attrition rates for women remaining in the profession.
“We have horrible, horrible data on attrition, right? So just because we have women in the academy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re also going to stay in the profession themselves,” she said. “And so, it’s something that we’re really interested in and really interested in unpacking and thinking of those particular challenges.”