City directors say Fort Smith needs more diversity in city employees | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

City directors say Fort Smith needs more diversity in city employees

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Fort Smith City Directors Tracy Pennartz and Keith Lau pushed a city board discussion Tuesday at which several agreed the city workforce lacks diversity.

Of 895 city employees, 89.5 percent are white and 81 percent are male. According to 2014 Census data, the city is 77 percent white and women constitute slightly more than half of the population. There's one black police officer among 151.

From the Southwest Times-Record, a quote from the only black member of the board, Andre Good, about police and fire hiring:

"We have had African Americans pass every single portion of the testing, and when it gets down to the point where it is subjective questioning from the panel or the Civil Service Commission, in that questioning process, the numbers get dropped," Good said. "I'm just trying to get to the real matter of why there's so much disparity, particularly in the police and fire department." 
 Good question.

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