EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

UVU Police Academy has more women graduating than ever before

Jun 2, 2023, 9:00 AM

Utah Valley University started their Police Academy back in 1996 and this year, the school had more...

Police Academy Graduation for Unit 46 held in the Grand Ballroom on campus in Orem, Utah, Friday, April 29th, 2022. (Kennedy Evans, UVU Marketing)

(Kennedy Evans, UVU Marketing)

OREM, UT — Utah Valley University started their Police Academy back in 1996 and this year, the school had more women graduate from the academy than in any previous year. The Academy’s graduating class this year was 21% female, more than double the percentage of any other year.

Only 13% of the police force in America are women. However, Officer Mellanie Seamons, a UVU Academy graduate, believes it would be beneficial to have more women officers. 

“I do think it is beneficial for departments to have women officers, especially when it comes to victims of sexual assault.” said Seamons. Officer Seamons is currently a Police Officer for the city of Provo. 

John McCombs is the director of UVU’s Police Academy, and he says female officers often have more success in communicating with people. He says communication begins the process of de-escalating any situation.

“One of the big takeaways in police de-escalation training is finding empathy with the person, finding something to relate with, to get down on the person’s level and communicate,” said McCombs.

McCombs and Seamons have both worked closely with the Utah Department of Child and Family Services. They say they have seen firsthand that children are also more comfortable talking with a woman.

 “In my experience, over 90% of the time kids would always pick the female DCFS worker, or female police officer [to talk to]” Seamons said.

Research has shown that people tend to trust and feel safe with a female officer. Female officers also tend to use less force and are good at de-escalating situations. 

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UVU Police Academy has more women graduating than ever before