SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Like many cities San Francisco is looking for people to join its police force. But SFPD is not looking for just any recruit.
The department is looking to diversify the force so the men and women resemble the people they serve. As the job of a police officer is becoming increasingly difficult, finding qualified candidates is also a growing problem, especially since police were targeted in fatal shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
Criticism over recent police shootings has been a persistent issue.
"There are good police officers, there are bad police officers. Our goal is to get people who want to come into this job and have a passion for their community," says San Francisco Police Lt. Troy Dangerfield. It's Dangerfield's job to help recruit the right people for the force. He knows diversity is extremely important when looking for candidates.
"When you only have one group of people that's mostly represented in the police department, that doesn't give us an equal playing field to understanding the communities of San Francisco," says Dangerfield.
83 percent of SFPD officers are men, 49 percent of the force is White, 21 percent Asian and nearly 16 percent Latino. That's why recruiters are making a major push to change the face of policing in the city. Billboards and magazines are now highlighting the department's diversity showing more women and people of color.
"I specifically go out to the Hispanic student unions, the Black student unions, and all those who feel that they're underrepresented in the police department," says San Francisco Police Officer William Levy.
Looking over the numerous recruiting classes throughout the years, you can see how diversity gradually became more important. But the force still has a ways to go to reflect the people of San Francisco especially, in a time where some people are openly showing their lack of confidence in police.
"I think now people need to understand it’s time to be a part to help make that change because we are in great transition nationwide," says Dangerfield.
Saturday the department is sponsoring a job fair at Stonestown Galleria from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.