BISMARCK, N.D. — A female sergeant who was fired from the Bismarck police force is accusing the department of discriminating against women.
Police say Robyn Krile, 37, was fired from her post in March as the result of an independent letter from Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer that challenged Krile’s credibility as a witness.
Krile told the Bismarck Tribune that her termination felt like a final blow after years of perceived discrimination based on her gender. She had disputed this argument in a complaint filed with the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights in January.
Police Chief Dan Donlin said Krile’s termination had nothing to do with the complaint.
“I think it is fair to say Ms. Krile was, for many years, a valuable member of the Bismarck Police Department and was well liked by many,” Donlin said in a statement. “However, after becoming a sergeant, she made some pretty serious mistakes.”
Krile, who graduated from the University of Mary with a degree in social and behavioral sciences, joined the Bismarck Police Department in 2004. She said she received several letters of appreciation and commendation as an officer.
“(My supervisors) put a lot of faith in me and passed me a lot of challenges as to help me realize my skills and learn that I could be a supervisor,” she said.
Krile, who was promoted to sergeant in 2013, said she’s fighting to take back her career and even the playing field for women.
“(There is) part of me that says I’m done with that department. But part of me says that someone needs to step back in and fight. … And it’s only going to get worse if someone doesn’t stand up,” Krile said.
Krile is one of four woman hired in the past 40 years to a rank higher than police officer. Women make up 12 percent of the police force in Bismarck, which is consistent with national averages.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com