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Official wants more officer diversity as Phoenix police begin hiring

PHOENIX — A Phoenix city councilwoman is urging the city’s police department to bring more diversity to its group of officers as it resumes hiring for the first time since the Great Recession.

As the department begins adding officers to its force, Kate Gallego said she would like to see more diversity.

“We want to make sure that our police force is reflective of our community and understands the diverse communities across our city,” she said.

Police data shows there is a disproportionate amount of white officers when compared to Phoenix’s population.

Race Percentage of Phoenix officers Percentage of Phoenix population
White 57.09 46.5
Hispanic 15.8 40.8
Black 4 6.5
Asian 2.4 3.2
Native American 1 2.2
Other/Mixed 19.71 .8

Gallego said one of her biggest priorities is recruiting more women. As of August 2014, 87 percent of sworn Phoenix officers were men. According to 2010 Census data, Phoenix’s population is 49.85 percent women.

“I want to speak with women who have not traditionally been a majority of our police department and assure them that it is a great career path,” she said.

Aside from gender, Gallego said she would also like to see a greater variety of ethnicities and religions represented on the city’s police force.