Police Seek Diversity In Hiring Process

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A lack of diversity within the Fort Smith Police Department is an issue that has long been a hot topic.

Today, the police department currently has 148 sworn officers. One officer is a female patrol officer, with two other females currently in training. The department also has three African-American officers, one of which is the new Fort Smith Police Chief.

"Recruitment is not only a problem here in Fort Smith, it's a problem around the country as far as diversity. In order to reach out to a more diverse pool we have to enhance our techniques," Fort Smith Police Chief Nathaniel Clark said.

Enhancing recruiting techniques is how the chief said he plans to tackle diversity in the hiring process.

"We are looking at taking full advantage of the social media. You know as well as I know a lot of our young people, social media. So, if we don't utilize social media, we will miss a lot of people we are trying to attract," he said.

The police chief said marketing will be a big part of the recruiting process.

"We want to sell the city of Fort Smith and I have come up with an internal advisory board and their first project is to aid in establishing a brand for our city," Clark said. "Think about a car dealership. Think about pharmaceutical companies. In order to sell their brand they market and we have to do the same thing here in law enforcement."



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