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NECC Police Academy Doubles State Average for Female Student Officers

Submitted by on March 13, 2023 – 2:25 pm

Each student officer who completes training at the Northern Essex Police Academy has plenty of reasons to be proud. They survived cadence runs in all kinds of weather, endured pepper spray, memorized codes, and passed dozens of tests in their six months together- to name a few. But the student officers of ROC-03 who graduated on March 10 have another unique point of pride. More than a third of their class was comprised of women. At 34%, that is double the state average of women in police academies.

Student officers of ROC-03 share their experiences.

“There’s 11 of us, and that’s a huge number, but it’s not even half the class. So, we walked in and wanted to prove ourselves right off the bat. And we did that,” said Rachael Mini.

“Everyone is held to the same standard, regardless of your abilities or gender,” echoed Olivia Durgin. “We’re all held to the same standard coming in, and all of the instructors do a great job of upholding that standard.”

The women said they could tell how everyone in the academy benefited from having a diverse group with different perspectives. “Going through different scenarios, the guys are seeing how we might handle things and thinking, ‘let me try that.’ And we do the same. So, we feel like we’re helping drive the way policing is going,” said Corrine Woods.

The student officers are first hired by local municipalities, who then send them to the academy. Now that they’ve graduated, they’ll return to those departments and start putting their training into practice.

Officers Rhiannon Ormsby and Rachael Mini prepare for a test scenario

“I came in not knowing what to expect,” remembers Giana Berkowitz. And I could see, coming in here with these male student officers, they already respected us. And we tell them like it is. I can already tell from my experience here that it will go well at the department.”

“We were never looked at differently. We were jumping all the same fences the guys were,” said Brigitte Hamel.

“We’re excited, but it’s also a bit sad,” reflected Rhiannon Ormsby. “There are more women here than in the department I’m going to. So, I’ll miss this. We’re like a family.”

To learn more about the NECC Police Academy, contact Director Josh Stokel.