Community members call for more diversity within Saginaw Police - WNEM TV 5

Community members call for more diversity within Saginaw PD

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The question of diversity in Saginaw fire and police departments being a problem was talked about during a town hall meeting Thursday night.

"If we were Caucasian, I would say, 'Dude, we need to get some black people working for us!'" said Karen Lawrence-Webster, one of the town hall organizers.

Lawrence-Webster and many others who came out to the Ricker Center in Buena Vista Township questioned the level of diversity at the Saginaw Police Department.

"I don't believe that we don't have minorities out here that can't do law enforcement. We've recruited in the past and there's no reason why we can't do the same now," said John Moton, a former Saginaw police officer.

It might seem like a simple concept, but with not so simple of a solution.

At the town hall meeting, some of the hurdles of hiring more minority officers and firefighters were discussed. 

Galvann Smith, the coordinator for the Delta College Police Academy, said since 2004, there just haven't been many black men and women who choose the law enforcement career.  

"In that time, there has been four minorities, black men and women, attending the academy," said Smith.

And one former police officer says it is time to go above and beyond the call of duty to hire minorities.

"If you have one type of person, then it's like you have an hierarchy, and people have the tendency to rebel," said Linda Moton, a former Saginaw officer.

Officer Reggie Williams, the Black Police Officers Union president with the Saginaw Police Department, said diversifying would help out, but the fact is to grow, you must get the best.

"We need good officers, good officers be it black, white, Hispanic, whatever, we need good officers," said Williams.

Another big thing brought up was urging young boys and girls in the community to want to choose law enforcement and firefighting as a career.

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