The Virginia Attorney General's Office is developing a plan to increase
diversity in police departments around the state beginning with a pilot
program in Danville and Martinsville.
Attorney General Mark Herring came here to the Bible Way Cathedral in Danville to launch the first phase of the minority recruitment program, which will be implemented in three steps.
"Talking to folks in the community to understand what the barriers are to recruitment, developing a recruitment plan from the results of that survey and then the third will be to translate the survey and the recruitment plan into a model that other communities can use across the state."
Herring says Danville and Martinsville provide unique opportunities for the pilot studies.
"They already have an emphasis on community policing, both police chiefs have expressed a desire to increase what they're already doing towards minority recruitment. They came to me with some ideas and I'm really glad to be in a position to help out."
In both cities African-Americans make up almost half the population but less than 20-percent of the police officers. Herring says he hopes a minority recruitment plan will be developed in about a year.