When he took over as police chief last year in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, it didn’t take Bill Carson long to see he had a serious diversity problem. Of the department’s 79 sworn officers, just one was black and one Hispanic.
Carson quickly issued a plan that included advertising in the local black newspaper, outreach to groups like the NAACP and participation in job fairs at area colleges with large minority student bodies.
Of 81 applicants in his first hiring round, only four were black or Hispanic — and the only one qualified chose to stay with the department where he was already working.
“I think the community feels better about their police department if the police department maybe reflects the makeup of the community,” says Carson, whose city is 10 percent black and 8 percent Hispanic. “But that’s easier said than done.” (Officer.com)