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Aurora PD lacks diversity, trying close the gap

Posted: 7:15 PM, Feb 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-01 04:58:44Z

Aurora resident Sherry Dillahunty describes the city of Aurora as a melting pot of races.

"We have a very diverse community,” said Dillahunty.

But for Dellahunty, it’s hard not to notice that the police department protecting and serving her community doesn’t represent her.

"There is no diversity, there is not," said Dellahunty.

The Aurora Police Department says it needs more diversity to represent the diverse community of Aurora.

"In terms of our reflection of the community, we are not there," said Aurora police Lt. Marcus Dudley.

Dudley said in 2009, 89 percent of officers were white and so was 62 percent of the city. Over the last six years, the city got more diverse with the white population dropping to 42 percent. But the number of white officers stayed high at 87 percent.

Minorities make up only 17 percent of the department. 

Dudley says the department is now on mission to bridge the gap.

"We want more inclusion within our police department,” said Lt. Dudley.

In order to bring diversity numbers up, the department created a recruitment strategy committee to identify ways to go about recruiting applicants with diverse backgrounds.

The recruitment office was moved from the city hall and placed at the department’s headquarters to increase community outreach.

"The chief's office naturally has community connections,” said Dudley.

The new approaches are making some progress. The new academy class is made up of 30 percent minorities.

The department said it plans to continue its aggressive recruitment efforts until the gap is narrowed and eventually closed. 

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