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Chris Koster To Host Two-Day Workshop To Discuss Minorities In Police Departments

Attorney General's Office

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Sunday that he will host a two-day workshop in Kansas City and St. Louis to discuss why so many cities in Missouri have low numbers of minorities in their police departments. Koster said in a release announcing the event that he wanted to talk with police chiefs, school administrators and community leaders to find out why many urban police forces around the state don't reflect the racial makeup of cities they serve. 

The Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by a white officer in Ferguson has raised questions about why Missouri cities with large minority populations have few minority police officers. Ferguson is 67 percent black, but its police force of 58 officers has only 4 black officer -- 7 percent of the force, according to information compiled by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"We are all searching for ways to increase respect and communication between law enforcement and the communities they protect. One way to achieve this is for police agencies to more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve," Koster said in the announcement. 

He cited the Post-Dispatch story and one in Sunday's Kansas City Star examining the lack of diversity in police departments. Koster also noted that Kansas City suburb Grandview is 40 percent black and has 54 police officers, but only one black officer. 

Koster said the workshop is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1 in St. Louis and Oct. 2 in Kansas City at venues that will be determined later. 

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