GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO ) — Madison Schoeder is looking for a career change.
“I have an undergrad in retail merchandise and a minor in business, so totally not related to law enforcement,” said Schoeder.
After college, she found herself drawn to law enforcement and that’s what led her to learn more about the State Patrol on Saturday morning.
Alongside about a dozen others, she was able to hear from female troopers and to ask questions about the unique demands of the job.
Right now, there are 535 road troopers in the State Patrol, but only 54 — or 10 percent — of those troopers are women.
Lt. Col. Rochelle Schrofer is trying to change that statistic by bringing more female faces to the force.
“You typically see more males than you would females when you are interacting with law enforcement,” said Lt. Col. Schrofer.
“When you look at the percentage of women in our organization, over the last five years, it’s climbed. It hasn’t climbed as aggressively as we would like it to.”
This recruitment effort comes as police in Minnesota are facing a hiring crisis of their own.
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association says there are 20,000 fewer officers today than there were five years ago nationwide.
“It sounds easy, but it’s not easy. There is competition for all of the applicants that are out there,” said Lt. Col. Schrofer.
She tells WCCO she hopes this dedicated session will help persuade women that the State Patrol is the right place for their careers and dreams to flourish.
The Minnesota State Patrol has been holding recruitment events like this for the past five years.
During that time, they’ve added 27 new female troopers to the force.