photo credit: AP & WTVC/Zoom
Chattanooga, TN – In a Tuesday interview with NewsChannel 9, Police Chief David Roddy responded to criticisms made against the police department by State Senator Todd Gardenhire.
Senator Gardenhire has recently been vocal about police force diversity and has highlighted the issue on multiple occasions.
The State Senator spoke about police diversity at a recent Hamilton County Republican Woman’s meeting, citing statistics that put the CPD at 70-80% white.
“The current leadership in the City of Chattanooga has failed us miserably to represent the City.”, said Sen. Gardenhire.
In response, Chief Roddy said, “We would love for the numbers to be better – but we have to ask ourselves, how many minority applicants are interested in becoming police officers currently?”
“There is a tremendous pushback in many communities of African Americans becoming police officers. I understand that. That is why we engage in the conversations we do.”
In a NewsChannel 9 interview, Sen. Gardenhire also claimed that the CPD still recruits in Atlanta and that “they don’t care” about Hamilton County.
CPD Chief Roddy explained that they used to recruit “down there” with a 200-mile recruitment radius, but it had not been done in 6 years.
Referencing Chattanooga, Chief Roddy said, “There are men and women regardless of their race that want to serve their community as a police officer and those are the individuals we’re looking for”.