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San Diego Police Should Change Hiring Practices To Increase Diversity, Citizens Group Says

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

A new report on the San Diego Police Department outlines ways to increase diversity on the force.

The report comes from the San Diego Citizens Advisory Board on Police and Community Relations, which has been holding public meetings across San Diego for two years to find out residents' concerns regarding policing in the city.

By Reporter Priya Sridhar

A new report on the San Diego Police Department outlines ways to increase diversity on the force.

The board divided its work into three themes based on public comments: recruitment, training and racial profiling.

In the report, the board says they want community residents to be more involved in the recruitment of police officers in their neighborhoods.

RELATED: Citizens Group Is Tackling Racial Bias In San Diego Police Department

"People in our communities react and trust people who look like them," said Brian Pollard, chairperson of the board. "If you want to make any kind of change in any organizational culture you have to be cognizant of the type of people you are hiring."

The report also says the police force should diversify beyond former military members.

"If we get people that aren't so rigid with military experience, we're probably going to get different outcomes," Pollard said. "The apparent rudeness that is experienced in the first 30 seconds of interactions probably won't be an issue because these people will be used to interacting with people of color and people in underserved communities."

The board's research suggests 30 percent of San Diego's Police Department has a military background. They plan to present their findings to the police department on June 26.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department told KPBS "we look forward to going to the presentation to listen and hear what kind of recommendations are being made and from that point on, decide what we can implement immediately and which ones need to be later because they need to be vetted through the legal process."

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