HONOLULU (KHON2) — When it comes to Honolulu’s finest, women are at the forefront. They’re on patrol, they’re detectives and they’ve risen to the department’s highest ranks. Now, Honolulu Police Department wants more women in the force.

“We bring on that different feel, maybe a more emotional side to it being able to connect with the people in a different way,” said Cody Kodama, a Honolulu police officer.

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According to Honolulu police, women make up just 13% of its force. It’s the same ratio nationwide.

On Saturday, July 23 HPD is holding a Women in Policing event at Aloha Tower. It’s open to the public, for those who are interested in hearing from female officers and their experiences.

“I always wanted a challenge and from everyone else’s perspective, it’s one of those professions that you get into and you’re here to protect the public and serve our community,” said Kodama.

“We do hope with our recruitment efforts, it’ll bump that up a little and if we don’t put ourselves out there we won’t know,” said Shellene Ozaki, a Honolulu police officer. “We are trying to make it an annual thing.”

This comes as HPD is ramping up its recruiting efforts with over 300 positions still vacant. More recruit classes are being added annually from four to six. The next class will start in August and HPD said it’s already full.

“You’re back in school almost and you’re going to have academics, but you’re also gonna be tested physically,” Ozaki said. “We’ll be teaching you many things that you’ll need to know as far as being a recruit or successful in your career.”

Starting salary for a police recruit is just over $65,000, but officer Kodama said those interested in the job need to be in it for more than the money.

“We want candidates that really want to be here and want to make a difference. So we hope to see you guys. We hope you guys accept our challenge and come and join the HPD,” Kodama said.

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For more information about the Women in Policing event, can visit the eventbrite page.