Two city departments are trying to shake up their staffs. Asheville police and fire officials said they are lacking diversity. Both are actively working to recruit more diverse applicants.
“We’ve not been able to keep up with our community,” Asheville Fire Battalion Chief Patrick Crudup said.
Interim Police Chief Robert White said there are a number of reasons.
“It’s more challenging to get individuals of color,” White said.
It’s something some community members said is important.
“We need the diversity to take place,” Asheville resident Raymond Neal said.
Asheville is below the national average for fire departments when it comes to minority representation.
African-Americans and Latinos each make up 4 percent of the staff. Women make up 5 percent.
“Over the course of the department, it has been not just our department in the fire service in general,” Crudup said.