The city of Akron announced plans to hire additional police officers and firefighters, but the issue of minorities joining the departments is still on the minds of Akron officials.
Mayor Don Plusquellic says he's been looking at other cities that have successfully shown diversity in both police and fire departments. He says he was not happy earlier this year when nine officers, all white men, were sworn in.
"The practical side is, we need people to be able to do the job in every neighborhood and that usually means that you have to be reflective of that neighborhood," said Plusquellic. "I am not and was not happy, standing in front of a group, realizing that it did not reflect the community."
Plusquellic says he's talked about working with the University of Akron to help reach out to minority students including females who may have an interest in pursing a career as a police officer or a firefighter.
"We've done surveys looking at other cities, trying to figure out what they do. We're going to try to do everything that we can to be able to hire people into our departments that reflect this community."
Mayor Don Plusquellic announced plans to hire about 40 news officers and 38 new firefighters.
The city recently received a $1.5 COPS grant in which they plan to hire 12 U.S. military veterans.
The last police entrance examination was given in 2008. From that test, 17 new officers were hired this year and four more will be taking the oath of office in the next two weeks.
The Akron Fire Department also received a $6.5 million SAFER grant which secured the jobs of 36 firefighters who lost their jobs in 2009. The city has applied for additional SAFER funding to hire 38 new firefighters.
On the Web: www.akronohio.gov/personnel