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Your Community -- EPD: in Black and White

Diversity in the Erie Police Department is examined in a "Your Community" report.
May 1, 2014 - This year, those aspiring to become police officers for the City of Erie will have the chance to put their mental and physical skills to the test.

This is the first year the test is happening under the leadership of police chief Randy Bowers, who was sworn in last September.

Bowers said a priority of his is diversifying the force.

Currently, out of a squad of 173 officers, four officers are black men, two are Hispanic men, and nine are women, with the remainder being white men.

In the recruitment effort, 225 applications were submitted by the April 15th deadline.

Out of the submissions, 22 were black men, six were black women, three Hispanic men, one Hispanic woman, 19 white women, four others who did not fall into the aforementioned racial breakdowns, and there were 170 white men.

The chief said this is still an increase in submissions from the minority community.

This year there's been a three month long recruitment effort led by officers Tom Lenox and Bill Bailey Jr.: two black officers who have been on the squad for at least a decade each.

The chief said thanks to their efforts, the department has been able to connect with the minority community more than usual.

The chief said to effectively police the city, diversity is very necessary.

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