Fort Smith’s First Female African-American Police Officer Is Sworn-In

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The first black female police officer in the history of Fort Smith has now been sworn in.

Areille James, and three others,  started police academy training this past week and the new hires bring diversity to police force in Fort Smith.

The police department has spent the better part of a year building a diverse force and the newest recruits seem to fit the bill.

Those with the department say it's important to have a force that reflects its community.

James is creating quite a bit of buzz as a new hire and is using her platform to encourage other women to succeed.

"Don't be afraid of it [change]. Just do it. I think sometimes we are really afraid of the unknown things so we hold our selves back but just do it," she said.