All-female patrol shift makes history in Collegedale
Girl power took on new meaning in Collegedale on Tuesday. For the first time in the city's 51-year history, its streets were under the protection of an all-female patrol shift.
"Two of our girls pushed a car out of the roadway for a stranded driver," Corporal Sheila Strange told Channel 3.
That's according to a recent post the Collegedale Police Department shared on Facebook.
"The three of us don't often get to work together so it was a blast," Strange said.
The photo was shared more than 100 times and liked by more than 600 people on social media. The women in it had another message to share.
"Us girls can do anything you guys can do," said Strange.
For Reserve Officer and Dispatcher Brittany Williams, it's a job she loves, even with the added challenge of changing the perception of women in the male-dominated field.
"A lot of the times, I just feel like one of the guys. As a female you do feel like you have that sense that you have to prove yourself to other officers or even to citizens," she explained.
Finding the right gear for female officers can also be a challenge, but Strange says she knew the job itself was a good fit after years of being in a domestic violence situation.
"I decided that I was no longer going to be a victim and I was gonna help those that are not victims but survivors of domestic abuse," she told Channel 3.
Both say the support they've received from hundreds on Facebook is appreciated.
"It gives you more drive to continue to want to go to work knowing you've got that support behind you," Williams said.
Strange says their real pride comes from inspiring young girls
"We always have little girls come up to us and ask us what it's like to be a female police officer. We have a lot that say that's their plan for their future," she said.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, female officers only make up about %15 of all officers and less than %3 of all chiefs.
Both Strange and Williams say they hope those numbers will continue to increase.