Arizona Democrats call for diversity in law enforcement leadership

“If we are truly dedicated to ensuring diversity within our police force, we must start with ensuring diversity amongst the leadership of the very entity tasked with overseeing the training of law enforcement officers,” Arizona House Democratic leader Charlene Fernandez said in the letter.

BY KTAR.COM JUNE 15, 2020

PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats are pushing for more diversity in the state’s law enforcement leadership positions amid recent protests.

State Democrats asked for more diversity on the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board in a recent letter to Gov. Doug Ducey and AZPOST chairman Sheriff Scott Mascher.

“If we are truly dedicated to ensuring diversity within our police force, we must start with ensuring diversity amongst the leadership of the very entity tasked with overseeing the training of law enforcement officers,” Arizona House Democratic leader Charlene Fernandez said in the letter.

Recent protests in Arizona and across the country have been against police brutality and racial inequality following the in-custody deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Dion Johnson in Arizona.

AZPOST is a key part for oversight of police training and education in the state, and 13 of the board’s 15 members are white males.

The letter also pledges that board recommendations from the House will make the board “geographically diverse and more importantly, diverse in ethnicity and gender.”

The board oversees 163 law enforcement agencies, which includes more than 14,500 sworn peace officers, 6,500 correctional officers and 13 police training academies, according to AZPOST’s website.

On June 2, state Senate and House Democrats called for a special session on police reform in the state.

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