The Chicago Police Department and the city have been facing questions about the diversity of its officers after a report Tuesday showed a racial disparity in the CPD recruitment process.
On the same day Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed 113 new recruits, the Chicago Sun-Times released its analysis of city records showing how white recruits have been hired at a greater pace than minority recruits, despite a big push to hire black and Hispanic officers.
“We have to ensure that the police department--that it reflects the strength and the diversity of this great city," Emanuel said.
CPD officials say it will take time to build diversity from their recent campaign to get more minority officers in the ranks.
“You are going to see a very positive impact in terms of the numbers African Americans and Hispanics and females that we are looking for,” said CPD First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro.
Ald. Anthony Beale says the process to become a CPD officer needs to be changed before the department will see any increase in diversity.
“The system is designed to weed out people of color,” Ald. Anthony Beale said.
New recruits told NBC 5 Monday they wanted to become Chicago police officers for a variety of reasons--but always leading back to service.
“I kinda want to get in and make an impact," recruit Tyler Andrews said. "Make a difference.”
Marlene Cabrera said she wanted to give back while serving.
“I feel this is a great way contribute to my community as well,” she said.
Geoffrey Gipson said he discovered he had a strong belief in public service.
“Over time it became a desire I believe that I have a servants heart,” he said.
But Beale still says the the racial disparity in sworn officers is a problem. Beale also says a credit requirement stops many African-American applicants from becoming a police officer.
"The deck is stacked against you coming out of the gate," he said. "Because if you have bad credit or you have a blemish on your credit that’s going to be a disqualifier to get you into the academy.”