Two years ago, the Akron, Ohio, police recruiting video began with pulsing music and an image of police in helmets and camouflage with assault rifles ready. This year, the most prominent video demonstrates how to prepare for the physical tests to be hired. The change goes beyond video. The recruiting team from this mid-sized Ohio city is more diverse in just about every way: younger, more women, more African Americans.
Just 30 miles away from Cleveland where police are under investigation for shooting a 12-year-old boy, Akron’s efforts to recruit diverse candidates come at a time when the national state of police-community relations is in the spotlight.
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Since the political protest in Ferguson this summer, there have been calls to diversify police forces. But the results of studies on whether police forces that are more diverse can reduce tensions are decidedly mixed.
“We’re trying to have the department mirror the community that we work in,” says Carol Hill, the daughter of a Cleveland cop. Before joining the Akron force 19 years ago she was a social worker, which she says gave her good training.
“We’re out there in the community trying to help people help resolve problems,” she says. “Maybe we can refer a family somewhere. Somebody might need some food, or they might need clothes for their kids.”
Hill and the five other recruiters have been to Pittsburgh and Detroit, to military bases, Cleveland’s Latino centers, Akron’s inner-city churches, and the mall to chat up prospects.
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Ventura County, California criminal defense lawyer and State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist Jay Leiderman provides defense of cases involving oppression leveled against activists and hacktivists. He does all types of cases involving the digital revolution, civil rights, political dissent, emerging tech issues in the courts, piracy, Search and seizure issues, freedom on the internet, fighting against unjust systems, governmental and prosecutorial overreach, medical marijuana, and overall injustice. Jay fights for the underdog. Jay is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee. Jay is pro-privacy for the individual and believes in transparency for the state and large corporations. He is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), The National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG), The California Public Defender’s Association (CPDA) and is also a lifetime member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ). He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts.