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Continued: Looking for more women to patrol the state's woods

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 23, 2013 - 11:57 PM

In the years since, the job has panned out almost exactly the way she envisioned.

“Absolutely,’’ she said. “There’s no ‘typical’ day, which I really like. And our work varies with the season. So if you get tired of winter, spring is right around the corner. Then summer, and fall after that.’’

 

More women wanted

In an attempt to further diversify its CO corps while adding 20 new officers, the DNR will hold a training academy next year, with a second planned in 2015.

A new program called CO Prep also will debut in 2014. The plan will pay about $30,000 in salary and $3,000 in school expenses while successful applicants study for their law enforcement certificate. Tuition also will be covered.

Enforcement operations support manager Maj. Roger Tietz said five female senior DNR officers retired in the past two years, and the agency hopes the academy and CO Prep will replace them, and perhaps add few more women.

“The big challenge in recruiting women to be conservation officers is that you have to find women candidates, they have to have a peace officer license (a requirement CO Prep hopes to rectify) and they have to have an interest in the position,’’ Tietz said. “It’s not uncommon for women with the first two qualifications to say they don’t want to do natural resources work because they’re not familiar with it.”

Since becoming conservation officers, Glaser and Kruse each have had three children. Both said the agency was accommodating and encouraging during their pregnancies and afterward.

“It’s probably true that it’s easier for a man CO to start a family than for a woman CO,’’ said Glaser, whose husband is a Carver County deputy sheriff. “But the DNR has been very understanding. I worked in the field during my pregnancy until about five months, then took a desk job in St. Paul that I was offered.

“Even now, if I get a call I can’t handle because of a family situation, other officers help out. We help each other.’’

Added Kruse, who complements her regular duties with work as a background investigator:

“You have to find a balance, and part of finding that balance is realizing you can’t catch everyone. Some things can wait.

“On the other hand, if it’s an ongoing violation, you make it work. If that means asking a neighbor woman to help with the kids, then that’s what you do.’’

 

Dennis Anderson • 612-673-4424

 



 

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