Chandler Police, Civil Rights Leaders Open Dialogue On Race

August 22, 2014

Civil rights leaders and Chandler police officials are taking steps to head off the kind of problems that have boiled over in Ferguson, Mo., and are at least simmering in Phoenix.

The shooting of an unarmed black teen from Missouri and a mentally ill woman armed with a claw hammer in Phoenix were among topics covered during a meeting between the NAACP and new Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan. 

Rev. Helen Hunter, the president of the civil rights group in the East Valley, said she has assurances the department is working to improve African-American representation.

“It’s always a concern. We always want to see people like us in every part of society and I think he has to make a strong effort to get us to that," Hunter said.

Chandler employs more than 320 sworn officers, only three of whom are black. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Chandler is 4.8 percent black.

Duggan said he’s working to increase minority representation on the force.

“There are definitely areas that we will continue to recruit and try to bring in folks that best represent our community," Duggan said.

Duggan said despite the lack of diversity on the force, the lack of minority dissatisfaction with Chandler police indicates he and his officers are doing things right.