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The Workforce Recruitment Outreach Committee (WROC) was formed in September 2015 in response to the Department of Justice’s inquiry into the hiring practices for City police officers.   As part of the City’s proactive approach to the allegations presented in the letter City Officials appointed and approved a seven member committee that are representatives of local communities and the City’s employment area (which include surrounding counties).  Each member is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Commissioners.  Members serve a 2 year term with the option of term renewals at the recommendation of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners approval.

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Bowling Green is home to approximately 60,000 citizens of which: 75% White; 14% African Americans; 6% Hispanic; 4% Asian; and 1% Other.  The ultimate goal of the City is to have a workforce that reflects the community it serves.   Currently (9/13/16) the City’s workforce totals 594 employees of which:  87% White; 10 % African American; 1 % Asian and 1% Other.   WROC will assist and guide the City in accomplishing its goal of community workforce representation, employee retention, and minority recruitment.   Initially the focus will be on increasing minority representation within the public safety workforce (police officers and firefighters).  Currently (9/13/16) there are 112 sworn police officers on staff:   88% White; 8% African American; 3% Hispanic; 1% Asian.

Committee members will observe the entire process from advertisement to hiring, including observing/participating in interviews.  City staff provides reports on applicants; recruitment sources; demographic information; national/regional location; those presenting for registration/testing and reasons why applicants did not attend a particular event/or why an applicant was not selected to move forward in the process.   Committee members, depending on availability, will participate/observe in the interview process for public safety positions.  The committee will make recommendations to the City about its recruitment efforts and hiring processes and suggest ways the City can enhance its current efforts.   The committee has been through two police officer recruitment cycles and have just begun a firefighter cycle.

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In light of recent national events surrounding the law enforcement profession, WROC has been tasked with not only aiding the City in increasing minority recruitment but also develop/find ways to improve the community’s image of policing.  WROC formed an outreach subcommittee as one way to begin changing the public’s perception.  The outreach subcommittee will identify and/or create events that will foster approachability between the citizens and police officers.  The subcommittee meets monthly and discusses upcoming community events and makes suggestions to the City about the events they should attend.   Opportunities within the community to sow seeds for the police officer profession will start to be explored.   Another avenue WROC strongly stresses, is the need for the volunteerism, good deeds, and day to day interactions of the Bowling Green Police Department to be featured more in media outlets.

In the months to come, there will be enhancements to the City’s job advertisements, increased communication between the City and its citizens and vice versa; a City presence will be noticed in the schools at career fairs and fall festivals; throughout neighborhoods at block parties and neighborhood meetings; throughout the community at forums, and community events.

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