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article imageCity of Ferguson will hire more minority police officers: Mayor

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 1, 2014 in Politics
The mayor of the beleaguered city of Ferguson said Sunday they will be hiring more minority police officers there. This comes in the wake of the death of black teen Michael Brown and the grand jury declining to indict the white officer who shot him.
Minority officers on Ferguson police force
Mayor James Knowles III also announced on Sunday that Officer Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, will not be getting a severance package from Ferguson. Mr. Wilson resigned from the Ferguson police force yesterday.
“As far as the city of Ferguson is concerned we've now severed ties with Officer Darren Wilson,” he said at a news conference Sunday. “It is important for us to talk about issues directly related to the city of Ferguson and what issues we can directly address as a city moving forward to bring our community together.”
With regards to the hiring of minorities on the police force, the mayor said that they'll increase efforts to hire minorities by implementing a tuition aid program for persons from minority groups who enter training for the force.
The population of Ferguson is around 21,000, of which 67.1 percent are black and 29.3 percent are white. On the police force however, there are 53 officers and only 3 are black, which translates to just 5.6 percent African-American officers.
Those numbers are obviously low but are somewhat affected by the numbers in the state of Missouri, where 83 percent of the state's population is white and only 11 percent are black.
Mayor: Ferguson is responsive
Mayor Knowles III said he realized announcing efforts to increase minority hiring on the force, and the intention to create more dialogue with groups about changes they want in the force and city, does not mean that the protests over the death of Michael Brown and the grand jury's decision will suddenly stop.
“I think people will continue to express frustration and to look for change,” he said. “But I hope people understand that the city of Ferguson has been responsive. We hope that will help bring the community of Ferguson together and I hope others will start to recognize that going forward.”
To convince more of the police force to live in Ferguson, the mayor said they will increase the stipend given to officers who do so. It is currently $100 a month; he did not say what it would go up to.
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