OR police departments less diverse than communities

Police departments are typically 14% whiter than the communities they serve, according to data

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police force diversity lags statewide in comparison to community demographics.

The Oregonian analyzed state certification and census data, finding that police forces across the state were usually about 14 percentage points whiter than their communities.

Minorities represent 32 percent of the city of Gresham, but make up 12 percent of the police force.

Gresham’s African American population has recently increased.

Chief Craig Junginger said the community demographic changed quickly over the last five years, and the department hasn’t been able to adjust as fast.

Charles Wilson chairs a national group representing black officers. He says law enforcement isn’t showing people this is a viable career.

There were 53 police departments that employed no minority officers at the start of 2015, down from 72 a decade prior.

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