EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The Eau Claire Police Department celebrated a new first this week, after deploying its first all-female patrol shift.
Officer Breanna Montgomery, who was part of Sunday's all-female shift said the scheduling wasn't intentional, but when the group arrived for their shift, they realized it was a first for the department.
It's been 100 years since the first woman served in the Eau Claire Police Department, but there are currently more female officers serving than any point in history. Anna Dewane was hired in 1921 as the first female officer in the department. Today, ten out of the department's 100 officers are women.
"Sometimes there's certain situations where people respond better to a female officer's presence," said Montgomery. "I'm glad that we have the number of female officers here that we do to be able to provide that for them."
Montgomery said it is statistically proven that women can have a better rapport with domestic violence and sexual assault victims.
"When I started law enforcement 14 years ago, there were not nearly as many females working," said Sgt. Bridget Coit, who also worked the all-female shift. "Seeing the growth we've had since I was hired here nine years ago has been amazing to watch."
Department officials said they are hiring, and hope to continue to diversify the department to better represent the community it serves, while inspiring the next generation of officers.