A Washington police department is making sure all youngsters, regardless of gender, know they can pursue the career of their dreams.
On Wednesday, dozens of girls joined a fleet of SWAT vehicles and police cars in Vancouver, Washington, for an event called “Girl Cops Are Awesome,” KGW reported. The event allowed young attendees to interact with women in uniform, and show girls that they, too, can be police officers.
The event was inspired by Kinley Goertler -- a 4-year-old who was disappointed to find the police officer uniform she picked out for Halloween was labeled as a costume for boys.
“I got it for her anyways and told her that cops could be girls, too,” Kinley’s mom, Chelsy Goertler, told ABC News. "I could tell she was still bothered and it bothered me as a mom, so I posted about it on Facebook as just a ‘mom rant’ for our family and friends."
Goertler’s “mom rant” caught the attention of a Portland, Oregon, police department, who shared a photo of officers with a sign that read, “Kinley, girl cops are awesome!” The message, posted to Facebook, gained momentum and police departments all over the country have been sharing photos of female officers empowering young women, using the hashtag #GirlCopsAreAwesome, according to KGW.
"We've heard from all 50 states and five countries," Goertler told the news outlet. "It just feels amazing ... I can't even describe how wonderful it is for all these people to love Kinley ... and just support what she's doing."
After hearing about the national support for Kinley, the Vancouver Police Department organized “Girl Cops Are Awesome,” which gave girls the opportunity to climb in service vehicles, take tours of the police precinct, and ask questions about a career in law enforcement. Kinley was the special guest, but was joined by dozens of other awesome youngsters for the fun event. And for that Halloween costume? She’s barely taken it off.
“She has no doubts about it whatsoever right now,” Goertler told ABC News. “I don’t think she remembers that it [the boy label] ever bothered her at all because of all the positivity.”
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