In 1910, Alice Stebbins Wells was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department as the nation's first sworn policewoman. She laid the foundation for many of the juvenile bureaus and crime prevention units still functioning today in L.A. She also toured the U.S. and Canada to promote hiring female officers, and in 1915, she founded the International Association of Women Police.
Wells still inspires many men and women, showing that law enforcement should be open to any honorable person dedicated to community service, regardless of gender and previous training—Wells was a graduate theology student and social worker.
The Kansas Highway Patrol is an equal opportunity employer. In 1981, Suzanne Evinger and Jan Lamb were sworn in as the KHP's first female Troopers. The Patrol now has ranking officers who are females, and women are involved in all aspects of the Patrol, including patrol troopers, Capitol Police Officers, Motor Carrier Inspectors, and more.
The Patrol recognizes the benefits of a diverse workforce and the special skills women bring to law enforcement. The Patrol actively recruits women because it wants to bring those advantages to the citizens of Kansas.
Too many women are discouraged from considering careers in law enforcement. Countless qualified individuals who would make outstanding officers never think of applying with the Patrol because they were brought up to believe law enforcement is for men. Replacing this misconception is the other reason the Kansas Highway Patrol focuses on recruiting women.
The Kansas Highway Patrol is a law enforcement agency where uniformed men and women can provide dedicated and passionate service to the public, according to Lieutenant Edna Buttler.
"On a daily basis, we change the course of action for so many people."
"On a daily basis, we change the course of action for so many people," she said. "We deter negative events from happening, and we quickly defuse potentially volatile situations."
The Kansas Highway Patrol provides numerous services to the public, such as saving lives through enforcing traffic laws, assisting motorists, investigating crashes, providing dignitary protection, educating the public about traffic safety, inspecting school buses and motor vehicles, assisting during civil disturbances and natural disasters, and assisting local, state, and federal agencies.
As a female uniformed trooper, Lieutenant Buttler said there are guidance and camaraderie among female troopers, and she describes the women as a loyal, extended family. Working with other uniformed females is empowering for women, she said.
"State troopers are positive role models for other women because we're in a publicly-viewed position. People look up to you and trust you. It's a very prestigious role," Lieutenant Buttler said.
All Kansas state troopers work hard to build a solid reputation and to uphold the agency's mission statement to provide Service, Courtesy, and Protection to citizens and visitors of the state. The Kansas Highway Patrol is a highly respected, statewide law enforcement agency that exhibits honor, integrity, and respect for all people.
The Kansas Highway Patrol often is called upon by federal, state, and local agencies for assistance in the field, including additional personnel, specialty units, law enforcement expertise, and equipment. The agency has exceptional equipment, informational resources, and training.
There are a myriad of opportunities for all uniformed personnel -- men and women -- in the Kansas Highway Patrol. Specialty areas include field training officers, recruit coaches, Honor Guard, drug and alcohol units, aircraft, criminal interdiction, motor carrier inspection, motorcycle unit, accident reconstruction, K-9, Special Response Team, Kansas Turnpike Authority, Governor's Security, and Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
"There is definitely a wide variety of specialties to chose from. There are so many options available in promotions and special services we provide to the public," said Lieutenant Buttler.
Kansas Highway Patrol applicants are screened through a physical agility test, a written exam, and interviews. Successful applicants undergo an extensive 23-week curriculum at the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina, Kansas. Upon graduation, recruits begin a field training program with a veteran trooper.
She said people who are outgoing, physically fit, focused, and who have effective stress management and problem-solving skills should explore law enforcement as a career.
The Kansas Highway Patrol is ready to welcome you! You just need to Apply Online. If you have questions about becoming a member of the Kansas Highway Patrol, contact the Recruitment Manager at (785) 296-8091 or e-mail career@.khp.ks.gov.