“Some just got fed up with police work,” Mayor James Knowles III said, explaining the reason behind the low number of officers now.
The city of St. Louis in Ferguson has been facing very difficult challenges in trying to improve upon the number of officers in the service. The decline in police population comes in the wake of the multiple police brutalities against Black people.
The number of recruited officers in Ferguson currently stands at 36. It is really low, comparing to the 55 men recorded in 2014. The department has linked the decreasing number of service men to the fact; most of them have abandoned the career for another one, especially following the handling of series of protests.
Mayor James Knowles III on Wednesday said, “Some just got fed up with police work.”
Also, the department admitted that it hasn’t been easy finding qualified personnel. Mayor James Knowles III also said that there have been suggestions to diversify the police population. It is said that during the time of Brown’s gruesome police shooting incident, the police service was predominantly white people.
In view of this, the state of Ferguson has sponsored some two young Black men to undergo training at the St. Louis County’s police academy. One of the sponsored Black guys has completed the training and will be joining the city’s police force, while the other person is still under training.
On August 9th, Brown, a 19-year-old unarmed Black teen was shot by a Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. As usual, Wilson was cleared of all charges. This move by the county grand jury initiated an outbreak of protests across the country. The Justice Department, therefore, stepped in to calm the waters and when the issue was revisited, they found out that there was some foul play in the incident which had a racial connection.
The issue of police staffing came alive when two former police dispatchers and their spouses sought to ask the cause of the declination in police population in Ferguson.
Finally, the police are awakened to the reality that there is a huge problem which has been buried in the service for long. Though they didn’t accept outright the fact that racism exists in the force, at least they are aware that their inaction has caused the downfall of their own organization. Maybe if there were Black police officers in departments there would have been less shooting of Black people. What we need is a change! Racial segregation isn’t only killing Blacks but also affecting the entire society.