Ferguson Mayor says City Will Actively Recruit Black Police Officers

NAACP members and supporters pass by an auto parts store in Ferguson, Mo., that was destroyed by rioters as they walk Saturday on the first day of a planned seven-day, 120-mile march to the governor's mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri's capital. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
NAACP members and supporters pass by an auto parts store in Ferguson, Mo., that was destroyed by rioters as they walk Saturday on the first day of a planned seven-day, 120-mile march to the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

The mayor of Ferguson, Mo., announced Sunday that the city would establish a civilian review board to monitor police conduct and would actively recruit more African American officers.

But Mayor James Knowles III said there would be no imminent changes in the leadership of the police department in the wake of unrest after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black man.

Knowles spoke at a news conference a day after Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, resigned from the police force. Wilson did not receive severance pay, Knowles said.

Adding a civilian review board and better recruiting more African Americans will help improve the predominantly white police department’s relationship with Ferguson’s predominantly African American residents, the mayor said.

“We are committed to rebuilding our city,” Knowles said. “And a part of that is having officers invested in the community.”

Over the next several months, Knowles said, the city will unveil a program in public schools that will aim to forge a bond between police officers and young people. That is in addition to the planned civilian review board and the recruitment of more African Americans.

“We are here for you and will not leave you,” Knowles told residents.

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SOURCE:  
The Los Angeles Times

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