Mid-Missouri police demographics show women underrepresented

5 years 1 month 3 days ago Wednesday, December 17 2014 Dec 17, 2014 Wednesday, December 17, 2014 6:27:50 PM CST December 17, 2014 in News
By: Amy Money, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Recent events in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson triggered a lot of national criticism over the racial demographics of police departments. 

In Columbia however, there isn't a huge discrepancy between the number of minority residents and the number of minorities working in the police department. 

Minorities make up about 22 percent of Columbia residents and 10 percent of the Columbia Police Department. Lt. Geoff Jones said that number is high compared to the rest of the country. 

Where Columbia does see a demographic discrepancy is in gender. 

Officer Amanda Rhodes hopes to change that. "I think women in particular need strong role-models to look at, and I want to be a strong role model," Rhodes said. 

Rhodes has wanted to be a police officer her whole life and recently graduated from the University of Missouri extension's Law Enforcement Training Institute. 

19 students graduated from the institute and just two of those were women. Rhodes said the fact that women are underrepresented is what influenced her to become a police officer.  

"I feel like growing up in a rural small area that there weren't as many people to look up to and so it did influence my decision a little bit to go this route just to show someone who can be a strong independent female become a strong independent mentor as well," Rhodes said. 

The Columbia Police Department shows similar numbers with women making up just 16 percent of total officers despite accounting for more than 50 percent of the population. 

Rhodes recently got a job with the Columbia Police Department, adding one more woman to the police department. 

Columbia's 5 males for every female ratio isn't uncommon though.  In fact it's 3 percent higher than the United State's total number of officers. 

"What I look for are the best qualified candidates and I do my very best to recruit in areas that I know will include minorities," Jones said, "We really make an effort to recruit in areas that will be representative of the community that we live in."

Jones said the Columbia Police Department has recently started trying different ways to recruit potential officers.

"We had an open house here in November, we send officers to colleges, universities, We put a motorcycle in the mall," Jones said, "We want people to realize that being a police officer isn't just for criminal justice students." 

Jones said he doesn't have an answer for why women and minorities account for so little of the police force but a new testing process could create larger numbers among these groups. 

The new testing process is likely to have an adverse impact on minorities according to Jones. He also says the police department has worked on the new process for over a year.  

"They use this test to make sure everybody is on a level playing field," Jones said, "We all learn differently, we come from different communities, different backgrounds and that needs to be taken into account when we develop tests."

The Columbia Police Department is currently accepting applications and those they consider will be the first to go through the new testing process. 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Missouri School of Journalism Professor Emeritus Rod Gelatt died Sunday January 19, at his home in Arizona. He... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 6:14:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory brought celebration and excitement to fans in Columbia yesterday. Teller's Gallery... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT — As of 3:45 p.m., the westbound lane of I-70 at the Missouri River bridge is now open, according... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department rescued a female driver from her car stuck in a... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:08:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The snow and bitter cold did not stop the NAACP's Columbia chapter from remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - Police say an armed security guard may have shot and killed a man suspected of fatally shooting... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:46:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
FULTON - Maurice Alfred, 33, was arrested by the Fulton Police Department on Sunday and charged with burglary, domestic assault,... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:13:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
HOLDEN— Law enforcement officers in Holden, Missouri have taken a man into custody after a homicide Saturday, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:59:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After hosting several events Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Local Kansas City Chiefs fans are spending their day watching the game with family and friends to see... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:57:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Capitol Kids, a multipurpose gym, reopened its doors on Sunday, nearly 8 months after a tornado... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS- One Kansas City Chiefs fan saved the day by driving wide receiver Tyreek Hill's grandparents to the AFC... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
FLORISSANT - Additional charges will be filed against a man accused... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:19:50 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
(CNN)- The US Department of Agriculture on Friday announced two new proposals that would give school nutrition professionals "more flexibility"... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 12:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - A teenager who was critically wounded during a weekend shooting in southeastern Kansas City, Missouri, has died.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:22:15 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ARNOLD, MO - A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:06:00 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND- Dozens of children from across mid-Missouri came together to play and learn about a potential profession at the annual... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:53:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Thousands of St. Louis-area families were freed from a major financial burden thanks to a charitable effort... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:25:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 12°
2am 13°
3am 12°
4am 11°
5am 10°