Racial tensions between the Ferguson police department and many of the city’s residents are leading to some workshops to find ways to get more minorities on police forces. Dozens of police departments in Missouri don’t look like the people in the communities they serve. The issue has come to the fore with the shooting and subsequent protests in Ferguson.
Attorney General Chris Koster is convening workshops in St. Louis and in Kansas City in October to find answers to low minority participation in law enforcement.
Koster worries that law enforcement among some minorities might be considered a tainted profession. He says people like Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, the security commander in Ferguson, are examples to show young people, “larger than life figures…making enormous contributions to policing and the law enforcement community, bringing these types of individuals…in front of tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders and opening their eyes to the reality that there are good jobs out there…to create a life for yourself, for your family, and the community you work in.”
He says the situation is not unique to Missouri. Koster says Missouri just happens to have seen the elements come together in a tragic fashion. Koster says there’s more to solving the problem than changing police attitudes. He says entire communities have to be involved.