Like St. Louis, Kansas City Area Lacks Black Cops


The Kansas City Star, one of many U.S. newspapers that has explored the racial gap between citizens and police officers, finds that none of the KC metro area's most racially diverse cities — Grandview, Raytown and the two Kansas Cities — has enough minority officers on its force to mirror its community's racial makeup. Grandview, which is 40 percent black, has just one black cop on its 53-officer police department.

Police chiefs say they are trying to diversify. Part of the problem is that most African-Americans don't consider law enforcement an attractive career choice. Many grew up with a negative perception of police, who often have had an adversarial relationship with minorities. “That pool (of applicants) is very finite when it comes to minorities, whether they are Asian, Hispanic, African-American and even female,” said Grandview Police Chief Charles Iseman. “Diversity is good, not just by the color of one's skin, but to have officers from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

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