Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) serves to encourage prospective and current female law enforcement officers and provides guidance to federal agencies as far as hiring, training and retaining those female officers. According to its website, WIFLE’s mission is to “promote gender equity through its leadership education center that provides training, research, scholarships, awards, and networking opportunities in partnership with law enforcement agencies, our members and supportive sponsors”.
You may have picked up on the word scholarships in WIFLE’s mission statement. The beginning of February, WIFLE opened its annual scholarship programs to applicants. May 1st is the deadline for both its general and members-only scholarships. According to WIFLE, one major reason for its scholarship program is that the number of female law enforcement officers in federal agencies has been diminishing: the percentage of female sworn officers working for federal agencies decreased from 16.1% in 2006 to 15.2% in 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The general scholarship is open to aspiring female officers or existing officers upgrading their post secondary education. The awards are each valued at $2500 and are eligible to those pursuing a Bachelors or a higher form of education. You must have completed at least one year of college or university and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Applicable areas of study include a criminal justice degree or similar disciplines such as social sciences, computer sciences, public administration and others.
The members-only scholarship is open to WIFLE members or applicants sponsored by a WIFLE member. Its purpose is to encourage existing members to mentor aspiring female officers or to pursue further professional development. Again the intent to complete a four year criminal justice degree (or similar program) and a 3.0 GPA from your first year of college or university are required. The members-only scholarship is valued at $3,000 granted over the course of two educational years.
Last year, WIFLE awarded a total of $12,500 in general scholarships to five women; additionally Julie L. Comeau was awarded the members-only prize. The recipients not only demonstrated educational initiative and academic success; they also displayed a commitment to serving and protecting their local communities, a key factor the WIFLE scholarship committee considers.
If you are studying to become a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or another law enforcement professional, you should highly consider applying for one of WIFLE’s scholarships before May 1. To join WIFLE, you can either be serving as a sworn officer (for local, state or federal agencies) or become an associate member if you hold a position related to law enforcement, such as a forensic scientist, intelligence analyst and other criminal justice careers.