The Lexington Police Department is inviting women with an interest in law enforcement to attend the department’s third annual women’s symposium Saturday to learn about the duty and rewards of being an officer.
The chief of police, investigators and female officers — including a mother and daughter currently employed with the department — will explain the opportunities during the symposium at the training academy in the Megowan Building on Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Newtown Campus.
The symposium is free with registration, and there will be an opportunity to take the written exam for academy entrance for those who register online in advance.
Officer Varinka Ensminger, organizer of the symposium, has been a Lexington police officer for about 10 years. She was in the military for 16 years and said she first became interested in police work from involvement with forensics in college.
In Lexington, our population now is at least 50 percent, if not more, women so we wanted to make sure the population is reflected in the police department.
Varinka Ensminger, Lexington police officer and symposium coordinator
After leaving her position as an environmental chemist at Ashland Oil in Eastern Kentucky, she said she was looking for an atmosphere that she had been missing since college sports.
“I missed being part of the team and being social,” Ensminger said. “I had some friends suggest I apply here, and I said, ‘Let me just try it.’ It’s been a good experience ever since.”
She now works in the training academy, directing recruiting efforts and instructing in firearms, tactics and driving. Ensminger has been involved in every symposium since the first held in 2014. She said the overall goal has been the same since the beginning.
“We wanted to increase our numbers and diversify the department,” Ensminger said. “In Lexington, our population now is at least 50 percent, if not more, women so we wanted to make sure the population is reflected in the police department.”
Eight percent of Lexington Police Department employees are female. The most recent study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2008 suggests that female officers should make up 15 percent of the employees in a department the size of Lexington’s.
Registration for the symposium starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and will continue until 11:30 with a light breakfast buffet provided. Questions can be directed to the training academy at 1-800-755-6939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.