Diversity data obtained and analyzed by the I-Team highlights the challenges many Chicago area police departments face in building organizations that look more like our communities.
In Aurora, Sgt. Edgar Gallardo is part of the police department’s recruiting effort, seeking new officers from diverse backgrounds.
“Every culture has specific nuances and specific needs and it’s important to hire people that understand those needs,” Gallardo said.
“In communities of color, it’s not really something that people teach their children to go out and join because policing as an institution has been confrontational towards people of color,” said Aurora Police Deputy Chief Keith Cross.
An I-Team data analysis found that 72% of the Aurora police department is white compared to only 36% of the city’s population. Deputy Chief Cross said the department is working to increase both Black and Latinx representation and is “making some headway but it’s not going to be an overnight process.”
The I-Team asked if the goal is to hire enough to reflect the current racial makeup of the population of Aurora.
“That’s the goal. Again, it’s easier said than done, but that’s not going to deter us from trying,” Cross said.
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SOURCE: ABC7 Chicago, Chuck Goudie and Barb Markoff