Women Officers in NYPD Share Challenges, Triumphs on Job

What to Know

  • All female NYPD officers in Brooklyn were invited to a first-of-its-kind conference Tuesday to share stories of their unique challenges
  • The NYPD is hoping to signal a shift in the culture to help women in blue shatter the glass ceiling
  • There are more than 6,500 female NYPD officers citywide; that number has risen by about 5.5 percent over the last 10 years

More than 600 women filled a Brooklyn church Tuesday, all members of the NYPD and sharing stories about what it's like to be a woman wearing the badge. 

The NYPD invited every single female officer in Brooklyn to attend the first conference of its kind, calling male officers in on their days off to cover their shifts. The department is hoping to signal a shift in the culture, to help women in blue shatter the glass ceiling. 

"We need each other," said NYPD Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams Harris. "We need to be together, we need to support each other, we need to stand together." 

NYPD officer Nicole Piridis says joining the department "has been one of the best things I've done in my life." But there are things only another woman in uniform would understand, and Tuesday was a chance to listen to and learn from each other. 

"Having to prove that I can do what the male officers do -- that I can stop three guys in the street and handle myself accordingly, the same as male officers," said NYPD officer Naquawana Jones.

"There have been times that I have just been ignored," said Piridis. "You know they'll go straight to the male officer. But there are times when females are needed, such as domestic violence jobs sometimes, if children are involved." 

All the women at the conference work in Brooklyn, but citywide there are a total of more than 6,500 female NYPD officers. The number has risen by about 5.5 percent over the last 10 years -- but the women at the conference said those numbers need to go up. 

"I love to see females in uniform," said Jones. "We're doing big things on this job. You see how many women bosses? I love it. I want more women to come on this job." 

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