The Ferguson police are about to make some big changes in the wake of riots that burst out around the city after the Michael Brown verdict was read last week. Upon learning that white police officer, Darren Wilson, wouldn’t be indicted on any charges in the death of the 18-year-old African American, an immense divide among whites and blacks played out throughout the nation. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles wants things to change within the Ferguson Police Department, and that begins with seeking minority recruits. Knowles plans to “launch a number of initiatives to calm tensions in the the city” following the polarizing event.
According to NPR, the mayor would like to see Ferguson begin a scholarship program to recruit more black officers in the city where African Americans make up for over half the population, but not much of the police force. In achieving this to start with, the city will have a civilian review board help with input on police matters.
Knowles says the goal is to have a police department “more reflective of the demographics of Ferguson.” A “proactive” approach will be used with the “next academy class.” Additionally, the mayor wants to increase a stipend to officers living in Ferguson from $100 to $300 a month.
As the Los Angeles Times has in its report, Knowles says they are “committed to rebuilding our city. And a part of that is having officers invested in the community.”
There will also be a program put in place in which public schools will be able to create more of a bond between police officers and youth.
“We are here for you and will not leave you,” Knowles tells the community.
Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson announced his resignation Sunday. Due to serious threats to law enforcement, Wilson felt it best to leave the department. As the Inquisitr reported earlier, Wilson doesn’t have a severance package.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson will remain with the police department despite protests from those wanting him removed. He made it clear that he plans to stay on with the city’s police force.
“My focus has been on safety and security of citizens. I report to the leadership of Ferguson. I’m concerned about the city. I will not resign.”
In the meantime, Michael Brown’s family will reportedly pursue every legal option they have. There’s anticipation that a wrongful death lawsuit will be filed by the Browns against Darren Wilson.
Will the community slowly begin to heal if Ferguson police seek black recruits on the force?
[Image via IB Times]