The Erie Police Department increases their effort to add diversity to their ranks.
Every two years the Erie Police Department accepts applications for the civil service test, and every two years they work hard to reach out to minorities to generate interest in the department. So, as the bureau prepares for the 2018 test, they are taking efforts beyond city limits.
Two minority officers with the EPD, Corporal Tom Lenox and Patrolman Damyan Graves attend the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Hiring Expo. at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg today; the pair hoping to find some new recruits with a focus on minority candidates. Six African Americans have been fired in the last 12 years. In 2016, 16 black men and 5 black women applied. Erie Police Chief Don Dacus says that number is disappointing and frustrating. "It's been a constant struggle to generate interest within the minority community... we have sent our minority officers to churches in the city to job fairs in the city we visited all the colleges and the community center and we consistently beg people to take this test".
The department has also had a big focus in the community to show the human side of the officers and to establish a better relationship, hopefully persuading some minority youth to become interested in this as a career. With the latest report out last week calling Erie the worst city in PA for African Americans, citing a high unemployment rate among the African American community, Dacus says the department is more than willing to give any minority a chance to join the force.
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