The Palomar College Police Department has joined a national initiative to increase the representation of women officers on its force to 30% by 2030, becoming one of the first community college departments in the country to take the 30×30 Pledge.

Although hundreds of police departments across the nation signed the pledge, most are from municipal agencies, with some university police forces.

Police departments that sign onto the pledge agree to take measures to increase the representation of women in law enforcement; ensure that policies and procedures are free of bias; promote equitable hiring, retention, and promotion of women officers; and ensure the department’s culture is inclusive, respectful and supportive of women.

“This initiative aligns with Palomar College’s goals of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and anti-racism” said Chief Diversity Officer Nicole Belisle. “This initiative helps with our pipeline challenges and demonstrates our commitment to supporting women on our police force.”

Chris Moore, chief of police for the Palomar College Police Department, said having more women officers would mean a more diverse workforce that is reflective of the campus community.

“It’s an important part of the evolution of policing and we are actively working toward that goal,” he said.

The Palomar College Police Department currently has seven full-time officers, all male, and one part-time officer, a female who came back to work after retiring in 2020. The department has about 40 employees, with 10 women who serve as professional or support staff.

Moore said he is connecting with networks of female leaders statewide and nationally to encourage more women to apply. He noted a selling point to potential recruits is a better work-life balance for Palomar College police officers since they are not typically scheduled to work weekends or holidays.

“I am grateful and proud that our campus police department has made this commitment and accepted the challenge to achieve this goal, said Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, Superintendent/President.