West Virginia needs 275 more troopers to help increase the number of minorities on the job, according to Col. May Smithers, the state police superintendent. The Charleston Daily Mails reports that Smithers, appearing before a state legislative committee on minority issues this week, revealed there are just 12 black men and one black woman among the 698 troopers now on duty. There are only 18 white women on the force, five Hispanic men and one Hispanic woman.
Smithers said he understands the agency needs to recruit more minority officers. “The best case scenario for us, as far as recruiting goes, is to educate members of the Legislature of the fact that we know, through our manpower study, that in order for us to legitimately do the task that by code we’re called upon to do, we need an additional 275 people,” Smithers said. His agency has a $108 million budget but is in “dire need” of more funding, he said.