For Small Police Departments, Increasing Diversity Is a Struggle - NYTimes.com: MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — This working-class Cleveland suburb has changed markedly since its mayor declared in 1977 that he did not know “what a minority is,” going from a nearly all-white population to two-thirds black. But its police and fire departments have not: the Maple Heights police force today still has only two black officers out of 35; the fire department is 100 percent white.
Maple Heights is far from unique. Across the country, police departments still struggle to hire and retain minority candidates, a problem that has taken on new relevance since the fatal shooting of a young black man last month in Ferguson, Mo., where just four of the 53 police officers are black, according to the police chief.
Nationwide, the total number of minority police officers has risen, but they remain heavily concentrated in larger cities, with the numbers falling off sharply in smaller ones, like Ferguson and Maple Heights.