After continuous calls for more diversity in the Erie Police Department, one sergeant is making it his mission to recruit as many potential applicants as he can to meet those goals.
JET 24 Action News’ Yoselin Person spoke with Sergeant Tom Lenox and others about this process.
Police forces across the country are looking for more diversity in their departments, especially during a time when some departments are coming under increasing fire for alleged abuses of power.
“This is where we need the community now more than ever to step up and get behind police work just in general, because it is a noble, honorable profession that comes with a lot of rewards.” said Sgt. Tom Lenox, recruiting coordinator for the Erie Police Department.
Within the last three weeks, Sgt. Lenox has visited several military bases and police academies in an effort to recruit more people of color.
Why is this important? Out of the 173 Erie Police officers, there are only seven women and six African-Americans in the department. Lenox would like to see that number increase.
“We need more people, not just men and women of color, but that come from the community of what they see and experience every day to come and help be part of this process to be part of some of the battles.” Sgt. Lenox said.
Some argue that a more diverse police department would help build trust and bridge the gap between police and the community.
“I would love to see more African-American people, but different people of color int he department would help build trust and bridge the gap between police and the community.” said Detective William Bailey.
While many may have second thoughts about joining the force due to calls for defunding or because of the overall distrust many have towards police, Lenox says there are reasons to consider a career in law enforcement.
“My message to them is ‘Don’t second guess it.’ We need you now more than ever to join this profession to help change some of the things that’s going on across the country.”
You can submit applications and they are due on July 10th.
To find out more on information, you can check it out by clicking here.