Women behind the badge - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Women behind the badge

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)  - We see them everywhere: patrolling the streets, driving through neighborhoods and working crime scenes.  The Columbus Police Department is mainly dominated by men, but what is it like to be a woman behind the badge?

With handcuffs and gun in tow, Columbus Police Officer Samantha Weaver hits the streets.

"The first call that I went to, we made an arrest.  It was exciting.  [It was] something different.  [It was] something I had not done before," said Weaver.

2 years ago, Officer Weaver joined the Columbus Police force to serve the community and inspire other women.  News Leader Nine rode along with her as she made her way through her beat in the city.

Weaver and other female officers make up almost 20% of the Columbus Police Department.

"Some women can out-do the men.  I've seen it several times.  A lot of women do their job well.  I never see them struggle.  I never see them complain about anything.  They go out there, and they handle it just as well as the men handle it."

This is fascinating to some people.  So much so, that you see shows all over television depicting female officers in action.

Major Wanna Barker-Wright says it is a different world now than when she joined the force.

"I came here in 1977.  [There were] very few women in a male dominated field," said Barker-Wright.

She is the only female Major in the Columbus Police Department. For 34 years, she has served the community in patrol, in the gang task force, and now, in administrative services.  One of her biggest jobs is giving advice to young female officers like Weaver.

"You may not have the physical strength as a male, but do your best.  Right now, we are thinking more, smarter--use you head more in police work than physical strength."

Major Barker-Wright says there were barely any women on the Columbus Police Force when she joined more than three decades ago.  While almost 20% may not seem like many female officers, she says it is huge progress for women who want to serve.

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