Riley Co. Police Department’s 1st female captain makes history

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT)– She’s the first female captain at the Riley County Police Department, and within the last year, she’s made some historic milestones.

Erin Freidline has worked at the police department for about 20 years. She’s been an officer, a detective and a school resource officer. She’s also served as a sergeant and lieutenant.

Then in 2018, she was promoted to Captain, making her the first woman to fill that position.

“So hopefully there’s some women coming up behind me here and we can get some more ladies in the ranks,” Freidline said. “That would be awesome.”

Captain Freidline is now the captain of the support division meaning she oversees departments such as dispatch, IT and records.

Within her year, she’s introduced a new program called the Police Interaction Course. It helps people with high functioning autism learn how to interact with police, as well as teaching them how to talk to 911, and what traffic stops look like.

Freidline said her success couldn’t have been done without her male mentors. She said while it’s a great accomplishment to be the first woman as a captain at the department, it was her male mentors who helped her the most.

“I never felt that they treated me any different or expected any less of me,” Freidline said. “And they always kept pushing me to do my best. I do think as a result of that was part of the reason I was selected. You know, it’s more based on my merits instead of my gender”

She said she hopes her journey and history will inspire others to do anything they want, no matter their gender

“Finding those right people that are going to be supportive and encouraging you, whether they are male or female,” Freidline said. “Just find those right people and they can help you achieve your dreams.”

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