Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A police department that reflects the community

Kansas City, Mo, is a diverse place. Data from the 2010 census show 10 percent of our population are Hispanic, 30 percent are black, 2.5 percent are Asian and more than 3 percent are two or more races. As an organization charged with serving such a diverse city, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department should reflect the community it serves. But it doesn’t, and I’m not satisfied with that! It’s imperative that we improve recruitment, retention and promotion of a diverse workforce. We care about diversity on our staff, and that means diversity of education, background, culture, military experience, life experiences and more. I will make public a detailed plan in the future to increase our diversity.

You can see the full report of the racial make-up of our law enforcement staff at the link at the bottom of this post. In some areas, we’re doing well. Five of 19 majors are black, as are nearly a third of our civilian staff members. In other areas, however, we do not reflect the community adequately. KCPD has just two black captains and no Hispanic commanders (captains, majors and deputy chiefs). We also fall short in several other ranks.

We have fantastic officers who come from all types of different backgrounds. But having more police who look like the residents of Kansas City shows we desire a police department that actually reflects the community we serve and that we respect all cultures.

As I have said about many other issues in this city, the resolution to this issue won’t come from the police department alone. Although our recruiters work hard, we can’t just snap our fingers and come up with a room full of qualified police recruits. We need you to send us potential candidates who you think would reflect our community and are of good character and high integrity. Regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, we encourage everyone who has a desire to serve the residents of Kansas City to apply. You can read all about our hiring process on our Careers web site. Again, please encourage members of the community who you think would contribute to the police department’s vision to apply.

Law Enforcement by Rank/Title/Ethnic Group table

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