Governor Hochul Announces DEC, State Parks Commitment to Add More Women to Ranks of Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Park Police Officers
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have joined State Police and other police departments across the country by committing to the ’30×30 Pledge’ to add more women to the ranks of Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers and Park Police Officers. The 30×30 Pledge is a series of actions policing agencies are taking to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. These activities help agencies assess the current state of gender equity and develop strategies to eliminate barriers that prevent the advancement of women in policing, including recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion, and agency culture.
“New York’s police agencies are stronger and more effective when they reflect the diversity of the New Yorkers they serve,” Governor Hochul said. “I applaud DEC and State Parks for making this important commitment to recruiting more women among their ranks, and I encourage all who are interested to take advantage of the opportunity to have a profound and positive impact on the lives of others by joining this law enforcement community.”
The Pledge is the foundational effort of the 30×30 Initiative – a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States. The 30×30 Initiative is affiliated with the Policing Project at New York University School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives.
The ultimate goal of the 30×30 Initiative is to reach 30 percent of women in police recruit classes by 2030, and to ensure policing agencies are truly representative of the jurisdiction the agency serves. While 30×30 is focused on advancing women in policing, these principles are applicable to all demographic diversity, not just gender.
In March, Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York State Police took the pledge to boost the ranks of Troopers who are women. More than 160 agencies – from major metro departments including the New York City Police Department, to mid-sized, rural, university, and state policing agencies – have signed the 30×30 Pledge. The Pledge is based on social science research that greater representation of women on police forces leads to better policing outcomes for communities.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Every day, DEC’s female Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers are hard at work, implementing some of the strongest environmental laws in the nation, protecting our natural resources, promoting environmental justice, and protecting communities from the existential threat of climate change. Taking the 30×30 Pledge recognizes both the work DEC has accomplished to date to support women in law enforcement at DEC, and the work that remains to increase the diversity and representation of DEC’s staff overall.”
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The members of the New York State Park Police work every day to protect State Park visitors and people throughout the State. We recognize a diverse, representative Park Police force is crucial to helping all visitors have a safe, welcoming and enjoyable experience at state park facilities across New York. New York State Parks joins our state law enforcement partners in taking the 30X30 Pledge to improve the representation of women in our ranks.”
Co-Founder of the 30×30 Initiative Maureen McGough said, “We are grateful to DEC and State Parks for being among the first agencies in the nation to commit to being a part of this growing movement. We believe strongly that advancing women in policing is critical to improving public safety outcomes. We look forward to having more agencies follow the DEC and State Parks’ lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing.”
Division of Law Enforcement Director Karen Przyklek said, “As the first female Director of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement, I made it clear early on that recruiting more female Environmental Conservation Police Officers is a priority. The announcement of this pledge is encouraging as it shows DEC is committed to adding more strong, intelligent, and highly-skilled women to the ranks of DEC Forest Rangers and ECOs.”
Division of Forest Protection Director John Solan said, “This pledge is consistent with the Division of Forest Protection’s ongoing work to improve the representation and experiences of women officers in our agency. We are honored to be among the first in the nation to make this critical commitment, and we look forward to working with and learning from agencies across the country who share our priority.”
To help add more women to the ranks, The Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Divisions of Forest Protection and Law Enforcement are increasing outreach throughout New York State with career fairs and marketing campaigns, and will routinely use various social media platforms to highlight the unique and rewarding work new recruits can expect by joining DEC Forest Rangers or Environmental Conservation Police Officers.
DEC is dedicated to providing a work environment that fully supports and fosters diversity and inclusion. DEC’s mission of protecting the environment can only be successfully accomplished when the diversity, strengths, and talents of all employees are embraced. Along with ongoing efforts to establish equal employment opportunities for all individuals, DEC is committed to eradicating racism and discrimination and emboldening our mission of protecting the environment for all who reside in or visit New York State.
Commissioner Seggos led DEC’s launch of a Women’s Professional Development Initiative in 2018 in response to women looking for opportunities for professional growth and career development. Led by a Steering Committee, the initiative works to cultivate an empowering environment for all women at DEC and evolve the agency as an organization with a culture that provides all employees with the opportunity to reach their highest level of contribution and that recognizes and promotes valuable staff talents at all levels of career development.