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Women in Blue: Changing roles for women on the force

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- America's first police woman was hired to patrol Los Angeles dance halls.
In 1910, the most dangerous part of Alice Wells' job was to make sure tango dancers stayed 10 inches apart.  It took decades for departments to realize how effective women can be on the streets.

Cincinnati's new recruit class has war veterans, one is a teacher, another has a law degree.  Some have masters and some are moms.  Women in early police recruit photos were the ones who weren't in uniform.  They were seen as the weak ones in clerical jobs or youth aide.

Ursuline High School graduate Molly Cajacob wanted to be a police officer since she was a little girl.  She got a law degree at U.C. on her way to her dream job.

"You can do everything.  I want to do it all, I want to work my way up," Cajacob said.

Women can do it all and some things a little better than men, according to research, such as communication skills.

"Mentally I think we're stronger, physically they got us but mentally we're stronger," said female recruit Takia Smith.

It takes mental strength to be a single mom of four children, "Be compassionate, understand everyone's situation, find the best solution.  I'm always negotiating with four kids!" said recruit Michelle Bockenstette.

Captain Terri Theetge has been a difference maker for 24 years. The mother of four is one of three women captains on the department.  

She said the mom thing comes naturally.  Captain Theetge believes women and men have different skills and together they are powerful.  There's been one woman assistant police chief in the history of the department. Captain Theetge would like to be the second.

"I have a desire to move up once if not twice in this department.  That would be amazing!" she told Local 12.

If you're interested in joining the force here in Cincinnati, you can get more information and sign-up for the Police Recruit exam on October 4th, 2014, here:


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