STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Rave reviews have been coming in, commending the Sterling Heights Police Department on its new diversity policy.
Chief Dale Dwojakowski said the police force needs to better reflect the community it represents.
"The anti-police rhetoric got so bad that we started seeing a dip in the number of people wanting to become police officers," Dwojakowski said. "And then you start looking at the roots of why these communities were so upset and they were saying the same thing: The Police Department doesn't look like the community that it serves."
That's why he chose to diversify the police staff.
"We are the protectors of everyone that lives here," Dwojakowski said. "Our Police Department has to look like the community or we lose legitimacy."
The Sterling Heights Police Department has been doing community outreach at the Chaldean Community Foundation on 15 Mile Road.
"I think it's vital we have representation," said Elias Kattoula. "When our clients see that there are people that look like them in the police force, it instantly creates trust."
The Police Department has another innovative way to grow the department. In February, Macomb County Community College is starting a police academy with classes on nights and weekends.