St. Louis County Police hoping to diversify officers on staff -

St. Louis County Police hoping to diversify officers on staff

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) -- The racial breakdown of police departments across the country has drawn harsh criticism in the months since the Ferguson unrest.

The St. Louis County Police Department is trying to attract more African-American officers. Recruiting sessions in North County Friday and Saturday will zero in some of those candidates.

Like other departments, St. Louis County has struggled to find qualified minority applicants. Friday's event at Hazelwood East Middle School is the first of the minority recruiting initiative. Just 10 percent of the St. Louis County force is African-American; 2 percent is Hispanic; and less than 1 percent are American Indian or Asian. North County resident Quiana Bush recognizes that repairing police community relations could take time, but believes this initiative is a good start.

"With somebody being a minority they can understand because they come from that background and they've experienced some of the same things," Bush said. "So maybe they can help these young people out and just show them how they should be and be a mentor."

Applicants will undergo written and physical tests performed at the police academy.

Going forward, the department hopes to hold similar events two to three times per year to continually recruit minority candidates.

If interested in applying, you're asked to dress for physical activities. The sessions will be tonight at 6 p.m. at tomorrow at 10 a.m., both at Hazelwood East Middle School located at 1865 Dunn Road.
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