In 2020, the city of Erie created a vision report.

That vision included more diversity in the Erie Fire and Police departments.

And Wednesday evening, the city hoped to address that need with a women’s only career fair.

City officials are happy with efforts to recruit women thus far, saying that it helps make the force look like the community that they represent and serve.

Women showed out to Erie High on Wednesday night, meeting recruitment officers with the Erie Police and Fire Departments.

It’s all a part of the city’s efforts to diversify their first responders.

Their goal has been to raise the amount of black, indigenous, people of color and women in their forces by 15 percent which they’ve been doubling so far.

“I’m very happy to say that over the last couple of years, we’re at over 30 percent of women and minorities who take the test and do well on it. In fact, we have 10 openings right now on the police department, at least six of them will be minorities or women and we’re really happy about that,” said Joe Schember, mayor of the city of Erie.

But this event in particular, focused on recruiting women.

A female patrol officer says diversity can help to round out the department thanks to differing life experiences and outlooks.

“Everybody’s different, so everybody has a different upbringing. They’ve experienced different things and I think every individual can have at a different perspective and maybe might be able to handle a call a little bit better because of their life experiences,” said Kayla Pound, a patrol officer for the City of Erie Police.

A lieutenant with the Erie Fire Department shared with us why she decided to join the force, and why she decided to serve.

“It took to actually seeing a female firefighter on the job. It was at a time when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be. That helped me to realize that there was more out there than, with all due respect, typical job that women do,” said Seenah Mischel, a lieutenant in the Erie Fire Department.

The police will begin accepting applications on April 3, and testing to join the force will be on August 5.