VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Last June, the Virginia Beach Police Department under the new leadership of Chief Paul Neudigate announced its plans to put more women on the force.
On Wednesday, the police department announced the 28-person 71st graduating class from the Virginia Beach Police Academy was comprised of eight women, totaling 29% of the newest officers.
The new officers were sworn in Wednesday.
In June, Neudigate announced the commitment to diversify recruiting classes with 30% being women. By 2030, the chief told 10 On Your Side he wants 30% of the force to be female. At that time, there were only 116 women in the department out of more than 700 officers.
After the June announcement, the police department said the July recruit class started with 34% female recruits.
“The 71st class has proven to be one of the most diverse in the history of the city’s academies, as the VBPD works to expand representation within the department,” VBPD wrote in a news release Wednesday.