HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Over 900 miles. That is how far members of the Minneapolis Police Department traveled to be at Alabama’s A&M Event Center Thursday, engaging with interested students about joining their department.

One of the biggest goals was to recruit more women to wear the badge.

“I was a little girl that wanted to be a police officer, and I didn’t see women in that role. So, what am I doing as a police officer, as a sergeant, as a recruiter so that young little girls because you want to start there?” said Sergeant Keia Boyd.

Sgt. Boyd was born and raised in the “City of Lakes,” and has served as a member of MPD since 2006. Over 17 years later, she wants to her profession welcome more women and women of color to the force.

“Traditionally we get pushed into social work, we get pushed into corrections. And that’s stuff when those same skills can be needed out in the streets, why not meet these families and our youth while they are breaking the crime or even provide those resources right at their front door versus when they’ve already been through the system,” said Boyd.

The conversation around law enforcement’s relationship with the Black community has been ongoing and ever-changing, especially in recent years. And the events surrounding George Floyd’s death happened in Boyd’s city, changing how she approaches her job and how she recruits for the future.

“Putting on this uniform, I own the trauma that the badge and stuff brings. But in order to build that relationship, I need to continue to wear it and continue to see a Black-bodied female in the uniform to help build those bridges,” Boyd said.

And the future is bright. Jayla Hall, an Alabama A&M student, actually interned in Minneapolis this past year, and she enjoys leading the way for more representation.

“It’s great it feels empowering I know there are a lot of girls here on campus that are kind of on the fence about whether or not they want to be a police officer or not because of the lack of representation so when they come to the booth and they see not only women but women that look like them that’s just such an amazing thing,” said Hall.

For more information about the Minneapolis police force, you can visit their website here.