Opinion, WVPA Sharing

Editorial: Increasing diversity on police force

From The Wheeling News-Register:

Wheeling City Council members were urged a few days ago to increase diversity on the city’s police force. Just one of the 66 officers falls into the black or biracial category, officials were told.

And, they were urged, more diversity training is needed for officers.

The latter is doable. Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger should find a way to make it happen.

But the former is a challenge. City officials have trouble finding and retaining police officers of any race or gender. There are six openings on the force now.

Still, as Mayor Glenn Elliott pointed out, “it’s a fair question as to whether we can and should be doing more to recruit minority employees.” Perhaps council should seek suggestions from the minority community on how that can be accomplished.

But the bottom line is that the city cannot hire people who do not apply for jobs. Clearly, more needs to be done to make police work more attractive to qualified applicants of all races and genders.

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