The Akron Police Department swore in nine new officers Monday evening, but is still facing some serious challenges in terms of recruiting women and minorities to serve as officers.
Nine men were sworn in Monday evening, Danny D'Annunzio, Jr, Michael DiFrancesco, Richard Farwell, Greg Joyce, Scott Myers, Thomas Parr, Jr, Louis Petit III, Kyle Walter, and Keith Williams are now the newest members of the APD's patrol division.
None of the officers were women or minorities. Akron Police Chief James Nice explains it is a difficult process to get women and minorities to join the police force.
"It ends up being how many people in specific groups that apply for the job,"Nice said.
"A lot of females do not consider law enforcement as a career, and the same goes for minority communities, we just don't have the candidates applying."
Mayor Don Plusquellic tells AkronNewsNow com that it isn't just Akron having these issues.
"It's a very difficult thing right now to be able to figure out how you get a proportional number of people to be represented in the community and every mayor is struggling with it."
Akron Police Chief James Nice says this was a proud moment for these nine men.
"It's terrific," Nice explained. "To have this young blood come in here when we've been down staffing wise is nothing but positive for us."
"These men have been equipped to handle many different situations," said Chief Nice.
"Some of these men have served in our Armed Forces, while others have served in other police departments, so their backgrounds give them the opportunity to enhance our patrol division."
Family and friends were on hand at the Oliver Ocasek Building downtown to congratulate the men on becoming the newest members of the APD, and for those 9 individuals and their loved ones, it was a great accompishment in their lives.
For new Akron police officer Keith Williams, this moment could be summed up in one word.
"Incredible," Williams said."It's an awesome experience and I look forward to starting."
Williams says the men he was sworn in with including himself will do their best to protect the citizens of Akron.
"I think we bring a lot of experience to the table and I think all of us combined are prepared for whatever this job brings, so we're looking forward to it."