Karen Arikpo, a D.C. officer of 24 years, recently sat down with Fox 5 DC to discuss this life-changing experience.
Arikpo says she hadn't spoken to anyone about the incident since it happened in 1997, when she was a police recruit in the police academy.
"I thought I could hide it," she says of her pregnancy. "Just get through the academy and hide it."
Her sergeant, a woman, gave the class a life-changing ultimatum.
"If we were pregnant we needed to get an abortion or we would be fired," Arikpo said. "So later that day, I went and told my class sergeant that I was pregnant. And she said I needed to have an abortion."
The female sergeant even referred Arikpo to a D.C. doctor to have the procedure. The veteran officer says she has kept the secret since it happened.
"I just thought this was something I would take to my grave," she told FOX 5.
Arikpo says her vote of confidence came when D.C. Assistant Police Chief Chanel Dickerson was vocal about the identical experience during her time as an 18-year-old cadet. Fox 5 DC reports that Dickerson made her claim public during a community meeting.
Arikpo reached out to Dickerson, who regrets giving up her baby for a job. Arikpo expresses the same regret. She told Fox 5 DC that she has endured fertility struggles after years of trying to get pregnant again.
"All these years, I’ve tried, and I’ve never been able to have a baby," Arikpo said. "I did this for a job. And then to want kids and can’t have them. How do you tell people that?"
Fox News has reached out to Metropolitan Police Department for comments on the claims.
According to Fox 5 DC, the department has made significant change since then. Now, if a cadet gets pregnant, the cadet will continue the educational piece with a modified physical performance test, per guidance of a medical professional. The cadet will also be placed in a future class.