Symposium on Conscious Law Enforcement & Inclusive Practices

Session C: Building consciousness in gender equity.

Women in Law Enforcement

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Session Description

This session will explore ways in which we can empower women in law enforcement to become future leaders in the field. During this workshop, we will discuss how to improve hiring and promotional practices to include women in law enforcement and how to identify and remove barriers. We will analyze this by discussing the history of women in law enforcement and the impact women have had in the field.

Learning Objectives

    1). Improving hiring and promotions with women in law enforcement.
    2). Sustaining women in leadership roles in law enforcement.
    3). Discussing the history of women in law enforcement.
Presenter(s)
Heather Taylor, Retired Sergeant

Heather Taylor, Retired Sergeant

Heather Taylor was the first female homicide detective sergeant in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Heather retired in September of 2020, after 20-years of service. She retired as a night-watch homicide sergeant, where she worked over 400 homicide scenes. Heather was the president of the Ethical Society of Police - ESOP from 2015 - 2020. Heather helped ESOP increase membership by 40% and established their nonprofit branch, allowing ESOP officers to do and support community service work in the St. Louis Area. While a sergeant, Heather co-authored two extensive reports on police corruption and racism in SLMPD. In 2020, Heather testified before a US House Sub-Committee about the emergence of white supremacy in law enforcement. Heather currently works as a consultant and established HthrTylr.com, where she assists communities with police reform efforts and violent crime. Heather enjoys laughing with her husband and fighting for those that cannot fight for themselves.

Sonia Pruitt, Retired Captain

Sonia Pruitt, Retired Captain

Captain Sonia Y.W. Pruitt is retired from the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland after 28 years, where she became the first African American woman Captain in the history of the police department. Her last assignment was as Director of the Community Engagement Division.
Sonia is on the Board of Directors and a speaker with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, which advocates for criminal justice and drug policy reform. Sonia is past chairperson of the National Black Police Association and is the Founder of The Black Police Experience, which promotes the education and history of the intersection of law enforcement and the Black community. She is also an assistant
professor of Criminal Justice at Montgomery College in Maryland, and an MSNBC contributor.
Sonia has spoken on a variety of law enforcement-related issues, both in the United States and internationally. You may have seen or heard her speaking on CNN, BBC, BNC, and NPR as well as on other video and radio media. She particularly likes to speak on matters that acknowledge the divide between law enforcement and the community at large. Her interest is in law enforcement issues as they relate to officers of color, Black women, and vulnerable communities, and she looks to offer information to spur personal education and growth.

Moderators(s)

Racine Amos

Jennifer DeCecco