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Report on advancing diversity in law enforcement released

October 7th, 2016  |  Deborah Hammonds

Earlier this week, the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the release of a report that examines barriers and promising practices – in recruitment, hiring and retention – for advancing diversity in law enforcement.

The agencies engaged with dozens of law enforcement leaders, officials and officers; researchers; civil rights advocates and other experts to produce the report, which builds on the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The comprehensive report, developed with support from the Center for Policing Equity, aims to provide law enforcement agencies with a resource to enhance the diversity of their workforce by highlighting specific strategies and efforts in place in police departments around the country.

“Ensuring that law enforcement agencies represent the diversity of the communities they serve can help restore trust and improve policing,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “Building on innovative and creative strategies implemented by law enforcement around the country, our report highlights how agencies are bridging divides and creating lasting results.  We hope agencies utilize this resource as they strive to strengthen their diversity and we look forward to engaging with law enforcement on this critical topic over the coming months.”

“When law enforcement agencies remove barriers to equal opportunity, the agencies and the diverse communities that they serve both stand to benefit,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang.  “Departments from around the country have been working to build a robust and diverse talent pipeline to strengthen their workforce.  This report raises up some of the most promising recruitment and retention practices of these departments.”

The full report, released on October 5, is available on the Justice Department’s website.

The Justice Department and the EEOC are partnering with U.S. Attorneys around the country to host “Diversity Dialogues” in Madison, Wisconsin; Savannah, Georgia; and San Francisco from October to December. The sessions will facilitate working-group discussions with local law enforcement agencies about how to address the barriers and implement the promising practices outlined in the report.  Members of law enforcement who would like to learn more about the Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement initiative or the Diversity Dialogues, should email police.diversity@usdoj.gov

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