Five-O in Kansas City needs more women and people of color, says Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn. Five-O — as in the once popular TV cop show “Hawaii 5-0” — is the nickname young people have given police. Penn says that 84 percent of the police force is white in a city only 65 percednt white. But many minorities fail to apply.
“I don’t think they (the numbers) are acceptable,” said Nick Nichols, manager of the Police Department’s human resources office. “The goal for the last six years I’ve been here is to try to mirror the community that we serve.”
Some African-Americans are hesitant to apply for a police job, Mann says. A few just don’t think they’d qualify. The starting pay for a police officer is $32,688 a year. The job requires an applicant to be 20 1/2 years old. A high school diploma is needed, as well as six months of academy training.