For the past six months, the recruits at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Basic Academy tirelessly trained in the fundamentals of law enforcement.
From physical fitness, to weapon skills, to self defense, these recruits pushed themselves to their limits.
“It was a lot of fun, really challenging,” said graduate Deputy Christine Davis-Arden.
“I’ve never done that before, but I just pushed and made it work,” said graduate Kathryn Ochi-Norman.
Nine of the 60 graduates of the Basic Academy are women, some of whom are embarking on a second career.
For Ochi-Norman, law enforcement offers a chance to feel more fulfilled.
“I was in real estate and I wasn’t helping the community in any way,” Ochi-Norman said. “I wanted to be proud of what I do.”
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department employs 4,000 employees and only 14 percent are women. But Sheriff Stan Sniff says that number is higher than the national average. The agency continually pushes for more female recruits.
“What women have added to law enforcement is their ability to communicate,” Sniff said.
“In today’s society we need to get women out there and represent the strong females,” Davis-Arden said.
Graduation represents a sense of accomplishment for Ochi-Norman, and she hopes to inspire other women to believe they too can join the force.
“Maybe they think they’re not tough enough. But I’m 5’2, 105 pounds and I made it through. If you have the will you can do it,” Ochi-Norman said.