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Martinsville Police Department stepping up recruiting efforts

FILE: Martinsville police talk candidly about racial issues and recruiting (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Martinsville Police Department said it is stepping up its recruiting efforts as it accepts applications now.

Not only do leaders want more applicants but also minorities and women to reflect the community.

There are currently four African-American officers out of 51 in the police department. In a city Chief Sean Dunn says is 45-percent African-American they have to be smarter in their recruiting process.

"We want qualified, high quality, civic minded minority and female candidates so we can be selective," says Chief Dunn. "We can keep our quality very high and we can best serve this community."

Recruiters are going out to more job fairs and colleges, reaching out to religious leaders in the community, and increasing the starting salary to $36,500.