Force looks to improve its diversity
Published: Aug 25, 2008 / Lancaster
By CARLA DI FONZO, Staff
State police recruiters will make a stop in Lancaster next month in the hopes of improving the force’s diversity.
“We just had a similar meet-and-greet type event in Philadelphia last week,” Cpl. Daniel Gonzalez said. “We’re doing it to strengthen community relations and improve recruitment diversity.”
Gonzalez said minority troopers hired in the 1970s and 1980s have begun to retire. This means the Pennsylvania State Police have fewer minorities than it had in the 1990s.
“In Pennsylvania, we only have 205 female officers, approximately 73 Latino men and somewhere around 197 African Americans — which doesn’t reflect the population,” Gonzalez said.
The troopers will be at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center on 150 S. Prince St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 6.
Gonzalez said representatives for other state civil-service jobs, such as the Liquor Control Board, also will be there.
“We’ll have a mobile recruitment office, and give information, meet people and answer questions,” he said.
All 3,500-plus state agencies are being encouraged to employ work force diversity strategies after an executive order signed in July by Gov. Ed Rendell.
The order created an Office of Diversity Management, headed by Trent Hargrove.
Rendell’s order also established the Governor’s Diversity Planning Council, which develops ways to address diversity issues within the state, in addition to the Governor’s Executive Diversity Council, which will serve as steering committee in implementing plans.
“I think the event will also help people get to know us better,” Gonzalez said. “Some people are intimidated by the police, which we don’t want. We have things to show people and will put on some demonstrations. We’re going to bring a rollover simulator that lets people see what happens to someone in a car crash who isn’t wearing a seat belt.
“Over all, we want to get in touch with the public,” he said. “We want to represent everyone.”