CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Detective Crystal Bowen-Carter says ever since she was a little girl she was told to trust the police and that’s why she joined the Akron Police Department.
The 29-year police veteran says nowadays it’s difficult recruiting people, especially minorities, to the police force.
“Because of the trust issues with the police, the ongoing crisis across the country involving police, so we’re trying to overcome that issue,” said Bowen-Carter.
Detective Bowen-Carter is a part of the department’s recruitment team.
She says more people of color and women need to be on the force so it can better reflect the community at large.
“It’s not just about the men, we need women, not just Black women, we need women,” said Bowen-Carter.
81% of Akron’s police officers are white and only 9% are women.
Meanwhile, the population of Akron is 30% African American and 59% white.
“Minority candidates, we want them to come on and feel comfortable, and we want them to learn the community if they’re not from the community,” said Lieutenant Allen Fite, Akron Police Department.
Lieutenant Fite has been with the force for 31 years.
He says back in the 90′s, the department hired a lot of minority officers due to a consent decree.
“We hired more minorities back then, it’s gone through ebbs and flows, it dropped off once we got out of the consent decree era,” said Fite.
Meanwhile, Bowen-Carter says if you want to make a difference in your community, you should become a police officer.
“While everything that’s negative is going on in the country, this is your time to make a difference,” she said.