New policemen reflect lack of diversity in Shaker Heights, some residents say

Shaker Heights Police Commander John Cole pointed to a small pool of applicants, and said the department is focused on diversity

New policemen reflect lack of diversity in Shaker Heights, some residents say
Some in Shaker Heights argue there should be more diversity in the police force. (Source: Shaker Heights Police Facebook page)

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Shaker Heights Police posted a photo of the five newest members of the department on social media, but people were quick to point out the lack of diversity among the young men.

Congratulations to our newest officers! Please help us welcome (from left to right) Chad Goldberg, James Leahy, Tristan Clark, David Palm, and Daniel Mitri. We look forward to many good years in our community.

Posted by Shaker Heights Police Department on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

According to U.S. Census data, Shaker Heights is almost 56% white, 33% African American, and 4.5% Asian.

“Shaker is a very diverse community so it would help to have a more diverse police force,” resident Melvin Mecklin said.

Another resident said the police force should represent the community it serves. But Shaker Heights Police Commander John Cole said they had fewer than 50 applicants over the last year. When he first started out, he said that number was in the thousands.

"In regards to the composition of our sworn police ranks, we have sixty-three (63) officers; fifteen identify as minorities,” Cole said via email.

The Shaker Heights recruitment plan includes the following objectives:

Commander Cole also added, “we have annual diversity training and the Department is in the process of doing background investigation of applicants.”

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