AZWIN End of Year Board Review

The Arizona Women’s Initiative Network (AZWIN) is an Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) sponsored working group charged with increasing the proportion of women working in law enforcement and law enforcement executive positions. Founded in May 2013, the AZWIN ventures to develop best practice recommendations by July 2017 for Arizona agencies to recruit, train, mentor, support, retain, and promote qualified women in the law enforcement profession. The AZWIN board is composed of current female law enforcement personnel from a multitude of agencies centralized around four committees: Recruiting; First Five (years); Mentoring; and Leadership Development. Our first year as the AZWIN accomplished numerous achievements:
  • Establishment of the initiative’s name, logo, mission and vision statements
  • Scheduled and held regular meetings open to the Law Enforcement community.
  • Development of committees with specific goals and objectives to produce deliverables
  • Increased membership and participation at the committee level
  • AZWIN sponsored trainings: Presentation & Promotional Skills Development Course and
    Chief’s Panel, Mesa Police Department; Winning Mind for Women, Dave Smith & Associates; Decontaminate Toxic People, Marsha Petrie Sue; Dave Ramsey’s 7 Steps to Financial Peace, Brigette Ruiz & AZ POST; Organizational Development for AZWIN Board Members, Cheryl Horvath.
  • Survey development: Designed to provide insight into trends, patterns, and the law enforcement culture for women serving in AZ. Survey distribution will be for all sworn women law enforcement and executive level agency personnel. Analysis and results from the survey potentially will provide the AZWIN working group a greater understanding of why the number of sworn female personnel has dropped and remedies to reverse that momentum.
  • AZWIN participation in Camp Fury: A 5 day, 4 night program for high school aged girls serving as a means to put girls on track to pursue educational and career goals in non- traditional fields that will lead to economic self-sufficiency and balanced leadership. Exposing girls to the option of fire and police service at this age allows them time to prepare for a career and will inform their education choices as well as increase the potential recruiting more women to public safety career. It’s critical to engage girls during the transitional high school years when they are harder to reach due to a lack of programs which target their needs. Through hands-on activities Camp Fury promotes the development of leadership skills, teamwork, respect and self-confidence. The program has sustained for 7 years built upon the partnership between Girl Scouts of Southern AZ, Law Enforcement, and the Fire service.
  • Purchase of an ISP domain
  • Branding and networking through social media: AZWIN sites on Facebook & LinkedIn
  • Continued and increasing support from AZ agencies and AZ POST
  • Development and growth of interagency relationships
    Challenges the AZWIN identified in year one:
    • Time
    • Internal and external commitment
    • The AZWIN message and purpose: Needs to be distinct.
    • Consistent engagement from members.
    • Marketing
    • Resources: AZWIN is unfunded, website design & program administrative support are needed.
    • Identifying members’ strengths to best contribute to the working group.
    •  Organizational design: Progress has been inhibited, growing the initiative at the grass roots level cannot be restricted by structure. New organizational structure for 2016.
AZWIN priorities for 2016 are focused on supporting our committees’ development of best practices and frameworks specific to our core venture of the recruitment, retention, mentoring, and promoting females in law enforcement. AZWIN will design a 12 month strategic plan that includes assigning resources to complete the year’s goals under the guidance of assigned Committee Advisors. To the extent practicable, the Board will further oversee the establishment of the AZWIN website and various Social Media platforms to enhance communication and market AZWIN to supporters.
Our first year as the AZWIN has been empowering, progressive, and successful. The Board Members would like to express its collective thanks to all of those who have dedicated time and effort toward this movement: We recognize the collectivity and support needed to make the AZWIN a sustainable and credible organization. A special thanks to: the AZWIN committee chairs and co-chairs, Lyle Mann and AZ Post, Deanna Cantrell & Mesa Police Department, Marsha Petrie Sue, NAWLEE, Betsy Smith, and Jeff Glover.