RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Attorney General Mark Herring has announced an initiative to increase the number of minority police officers in Virginia.
Herring said Wednesday that a $50,000 grant from his office will launch the project in Danville and Martinsville. Police departments there will conduct a survey to identify barriers to minority employment, then develop a plan based on the findings. The data and the subsequent plans will form the basis for a model that can be shared statewide.
Danville, with a 49 percent black population, has only 19 black officers on its 128-member police force. Martinsville has a 45 percent black population, but only four of its 51 officers are black.
Herring says it’s important to have a diverse team of officers who understand the culture and experiences of the people they serve.