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A look at demographics within Central Texas police departments

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 19:38:03-04

The death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement is shining a spotlight on police departments. Critics are calling for reform within law enforcement and more diversity within leadership ranks.

"I actually started with the Belton Police Department in April of 2008, so I've been with the department for 12 years," said Candice Griffin, a communications manager.

She started as a dispatcher and has worked her way up the ranks.

"To me, that's one of the perks of this job. I get to be the best of both worlds. I get to be Black, I get to be a woman, and get to be in law enforcement." said Griffin.

She feels empowered to help bridge the gap and inspire others to wear the badge proudly. As it turns out she's one small percentage of Black staff in police departments.

Right now, the Belton Police Department has 49 people on staff. 65% are white, about 18% are Black, and about 16% are Hispanic.

In Temple, there's 147 officers with the Police Department. 78% are white, 17% are Black, 15% are Asian, 6% are Hispanic/Latino, and 1% are American Indian/Alaskan.

Waco has 260 officers. 76% are white, 10% are Black, 14% are Hispanic, and 1% are Asian.

As of 2019 in College Station PD, of it's 146 officers, 83% are white, 10% are Hispanic/Latino, 3% are Black, 1% are American Indian/Alaskan or Asian, 3% are mixed races.

"What we're striving for is to really represent the community at large as best we can," said Tristen Lopez with the College Station Police Department.

Lopez says CSPD is always in a hiring process, every spring and fall. He encourages more diverse applicants to register.

"If you have a family member of friend that is considering applying for a police agency, encourage them or at least don't discourage them from considering doing that," said Lopez.

Officer Garen Bynum with the Waco Police Department says they've always had a focus on finding more diverse officers.

"Obviously we'd like those numbers to level out a little bit more. We would love to see more people of every demographic come in and apply at the department," said Officer Bynum.

If you have a calling to serve and protect, you're encouraged to reach out to your local police department. They may not be hiring at the moment, but they can help get you on the right path.