‘They respect us equally’: Nearly 25 percent of Derby police officers are women


The Derby Police Department has a growing number of female officers and they say the stereotypes of working in a male-dominated field doesn’t scare them. 

47 officers make up the department and 11 of them are female. That number is is nearly double the national average for female officers in a single agency according to a 2017 FBI report. 

“The city has gotten used to seeing female officers,” said Lt. Karensa Schiffel. “So, that has kind of changed over the years.”

Lt. Schiffel has been working for the department for nearly 13 years and made history in 2016.

“I am in the rank of leutinant and I am the first female to reach this rank in the department’s history,” Lt. Schieffel said. 

Those growing statistics aren’t only at the police station, though. 

The two school resouce officers at Derby High School are also female. 

“I think it’s good,” said Courtney Carlson, school resource officer. “I like working with other females and it’s nice to have a female on every shift. They respect us equally and [the students] interact with us quite a bit.”

Whether it’s on the roads or in the classroom, these women are making a difference. 

“Me personally, I spend a lot of time following up on things,” said officer Astacia Keller. “When the cops come, it’s the worst day of your life, so I want them to know I really do care about them.”

The challenges of working in a male-dominated field are something the officers said they’re not afraid of. 

“It’s hard in a sense that I think women have a little bit tougher time proving themselves in this job because it’s physical,” said Keller. “You have to exercise a lot of authory. It’s fun, it’s differen’t, it’s changing. Derby’s growing and I think the department is growing with it.”

The Derby Police Department has three openings of police officers and expect to have another open position later this year. 

For more information, click here or call Derby Police at 316-788-1557. 

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