Historic hire: First female officer on the force in Plainview

PLAINVIEW, Neb. - An officer in northeast Nebraska made history without knowing it.

Officer Kristy Hallock was hired back in April, but is just finding out she's the first female officer at the Plainview Police Department.

"No one I've talked to said they remember hearing any female officers working in Plainview before," said Chief of Police Jerry Neumann.

Neumann said it's due to the lack of applicants; a trend seen nationally as 86 percent of departments are reporting a staffing shortage, according to a survey out last year by the National Police Foundation.

But Hallock hopes to inspire more women to apply.

"I want young girls, especially, to understand that even though we're in a male-dominated career field, that just because you're a female you can't do this, because you honestly can," said Hallock. "If this is something that you want to pursue, go out and do it because you can."

Hallock said she enjoys protecting and serving the community, but her favorite thing about the job is the community itself, and for the City of Plainview it's mutual.

"The town's kind of buzzing," said Neumann. "They're all talking about her. They all really like her, because she's doing a very good job."

Neumann said she is an asset.

"You work with a lot of young kids, a lot of sexual assaults," said Neumann. "It really works good because they'll talk to a female more than they'll talk to a male officer."

Public interaction is what Hallock encourages.

"Approach me," said Hallock. "Say 'hi.' I'll stop, I'll say 'hello' and that's what I want everyone to see."