The first item in the City of Sacramento's budget proposal this year is a million dollars to create a police department job-training program. The program is designed to increase diversity.
In 2013, less than half of the city's population was white, but nearly three-quarters of its police force was.
Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers says City Manager John Shirey has made minority-hiring within the police department a priority.
"Even before this came up to council, it was one of the goals that he had set for me was to come up with a plan on how we were going to actually make a difference and move the needle and increase the diversity. So, we've come up with a plan, they're gonna fund it, and we're very excited."
The plan includes reaching out to minorities to participate in internships and to apply for entry-level positions.
Somers says money from the new budget will fund a program to get kids interested in working for the police department as officers, forensic specialists, or office staff.
"There's a whole training part right? So, it's creating a pipeline from our community -from our high schools, our junior colleges and colleges and bringing them in the organization where they understand this is a path I can take. ] You can look at the private sector. A lot of times you'll see a lot of intern programs that are in college that people know that if I want to get into this, I can get this intern and get my foot in the door. So, we're creating that same type of model."
The department has already begun the "Run With A Recruiter" program for people interested in becoming officers.
A "Law Enforcement Hiring Workshop Series" starts tonight.