Dayton has least diverse police class in a decade

Dayton’s largest police recruit class in more than nine years is also its least diverse during that time frame, according to information obtained by this newspaper.

On Aug. 31, the city swore in the 28 members of the 106th police recruiting class during a ceremony at City Hall. Twenty-seven of the graduating recruits are white men. One officer is a white woman.

This was the first recruit class since at least 2008 that had no graduates who are black or members of other ethnic minority groups. The 105th class, which graduated in August 2016, had four women (three black, one white) and six men (five white, 1 black).

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The city’s continued struggles to attract and hire minority employees is alarming, Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw said last week after the commission received an update on the city’s recruitment and hiring activities.

For decades, the city has said it wants to increase minority representation on its payrolls, but it’s clear the recruiting efforts are not resulting in significantly higher levels of diversity, Shaw said.

Shaw called on the city’s civil service board to change how it recruits employees to better attract women and people of color.

“I am interested in ways to do this differently so that we have better outcomes,” Shaw said. “Whatever we’ve been doing, that’s not working.”

Police and fire recruitment of minorities is abysmal, and the city needs to go meet community members where they are and educate them about the good-paying job opportunities with the city, Shaw said.

This newspaper has reached out to the police department for comment. We will update the story as more information is available.

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