Tucson Police Department hosts open house to recruit women

Tucson Police Department hosts open house to recruit women
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Cynthia Dunbar spent her Saturday afternoon testing her physical abilities at the public safety training center off of Wilmot.

Her dream has always been to be a police officer.

"There's so many things that are so wrong in the world and I believe that I can help," she said.

She’s lived in Tucson for more than two decades and has spent much of that time owning her own business. She shut it down, though, and hit the books to study criminal justice. She was finally headed towards her dream.

"Hopefully right after that I can come to the academy here and be a shiny new police officer," Dunbar said with a smile.

Dunbar was one of dozens of potential candidates at Saturday’s ‘Women in Law Enforcement’ open house. Several female Tucson police officers were on hand, helping to recruit hopefuls like Dunbar. That included TPD Lieutenant Jennifer Pegnato, who told Tucson News Now nationally law enforcement has struggled to recruit in recent years.

One possible drawback could be the dangers of the job.

This week alone five officers have died on duty nationwide. One of those was here in Arizona, Salt River officer Clayton Townsend. Two of the five officers were female.

"It's hard whether they're men or women. Losing another member of the law enforcement family is hard. To lose five in one week is very difficult," explained Lt. Pegnato.

Difficult to push through, but still always looking for the best of the best - ones that can handle the tough parts of the job. That’s why Pegnato was out on Saturday, watching as the police officer hopefuls tested their strengths mentally and physically.

"It's not all just about the brawn but about your brain and how you talk to people," said Lt. Pegnato.

Using those skills, Dunbar hopes to be a role model in our community.

"A lot of the kids don't have any direction at all and that's heartbreaking," Dunbar said.

She said she's more than ready to take an oath to keep our city safe.

"It's going to be a great, great rest of my life," Dunbar said excited about the idea of her future.

Tucson Police tells us after Satuday’s open house applications are open. All of the information can be found at https://tpdrecruiting.tucsonaz.gov/.

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