Minority Officers Needed

by Larry Little

East Texas has always been diverse. And now, some East Texas cities are becoming even more diverse because of a growing hispanic population, but many law enforcement departments around the area do not reflect the changing demographics. The Lufkin police department has 72 officers with only 11 minorities.

"I think our hiring practices reflect the pool of applicants we received. The more minority applicants we receive the more you will see on the streets," says Lt. David Young.

The Lufkin Police force isn't the only department with a lack of minorities on the payroll. Hiring a more reflective mix of employees is also a concern at the Department of Public Safety.   "That has been one of the big pushes from dps is trying to hire females and we've done good with hiring females throughout the last few years," says Greg Sanches.

Law enforcement agencies in east texas say their push to hire minorities hasn't been good enough. So, they are looking into ways to improve minority recruiting efforts. "That's one thing DPS is trying to do is be an equal opportunity employer and get the word out to everybody," says Sanches. "We would love to see more minority applicants because we feel like we could do a better job with reflecting the face of the community and having the diversity in the department is also helpful," says Lt. Young.