GREENVILLE, Wis. — Emma Manowski moved from one tense scenario to another at Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center near Appleton.

What You Need To Know

  • The Appleton Police Department hosted its third Women in Public Safety Day Thursday

  • It gave about 50 girls and women an up-close look at careers available to them

  • Participants got hands-on experience in a number of different scenarios

Scenarios included clearing an airplane and a house of simulated armed suspects.

“The adrenaline rush was there,” Manowski said. “I felt like I was breathing a lot heavier as I was going through it, trying to search the house and everything.”

Manowski is pursing a career in law enforcement. She’s a student at Fox Valley Tech and also a part-time community service officer with the Appleton Police Department.

“I’ve always been drawn to a career where I can make a meaningful impact,” she said.

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

This is the third year of the Women in Public Safety Day. The event is geared toward women ages 15 to 21 with an interest in working in public safety.

Women from agencies from around northeast Wisconsin provided an inside, hands-on look at their professions.

Lt. Meghan Cash is with the Appleton Police Department, which was the host agency.

“When I look at my career and where I have come from, I didn’t have the same sort of experiences that the girls today are getting,” she said. “I sometimes wonder if I would have had that sooner in my life if I would have chosen law enforcement sooner in my life.”

Cash said nationally, women make up less than 12% of law enforcement. Even fewer are in leadership roles in their departments.

“We want to see those numbers change because we know women bring something unique to the profession. They have different skill sets than our male counterparts,” Cash said. “Everybody in law enforcement can add something different to our workforces.”

(Spectrum News 1/Nathan Phelps)

Manowski is preparing to graduate in May.

“When you talk to men, it’s not always the same as a woman going into public safety,” she said. “Being able to talk to them and being able to get their story on how they got their career going and being able to see how their whole process was with it is really great.”