DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado women don’t seem to want to be police.

Police departments across the nation have made it a point in recent years to recruit, retain and promote women. Nationally, the average police department is 12% female, according to the Denver Police Department.

The Denver department itself has greater female representation. Fifteen percent of its sworn officers are women. The city wants to double that by the end of the decade, highlighting as a recruitment carrot the nearly six-figure income sworn DPD officers make only four years into the job.

Rather than evidence of exclusionary policies, the lack of female involvement in the police force is largely because women do not apply in the same numbers as men do.

In the five years between 2018 and the present, only 21.5% of Denver Police Department applicants were women, according to Denver Civil Service Commission records. This includes 1,502 women, in contrast to 5,424 men.

On an annual basis, the percentage of female applicants has been steady for the last five years, with one exception.

About one in five applicants were women in 2018, 2019, 2020 and this year. In 2021, the percentage of female applicants spiked to 25% before decreasing the next year.