Of the 44 cadets sworn into service Wednesday, 43% come from populations considered historically underrepresented. Two of the new troopers are women, six are Hispanic, four are Asian, two are Black, and five identified themselves as representing two or more of those groups.
However, it’s reported that the agency still does not reflect the diversity of the state’s population. Not counting the recent graduating class, 90% of WSP’s commissioned officers are male, and 85% are white. That lack of diversity prompted state legislators to pass a law requiring oversight of the agency’s minority hiring practices.
WSP spokesperson Chris Loftis said the agency’s recent class is proof WSP was working on the issue before legislative action.
“We’re really seeing the fruits of our labor,” said Loftis. “It’s targeted recruitment, it’s community engagement, but it’s also increasing the allure and respect for law enforcement.”
My opinion? This is good news. And arrives on other reporting that it’s difficult to hire cadets from diverse backgrounds:
“This is a profession in particular over the course of the last many years that has struggled with regards to community acceptance to some degree as a profession, which has made it a lot more difficult to recruit folks within the diverse communities.” ~WSP Chief John Batiste.
Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.