- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

SCITUATE, R.I. (AP) - Following growing concerns regarding the lack of diversity in the department, Rhode Island State Police officials are working to improve its ranks in that area.

A WPRI-TV (http://bit.ly/2aXLtnN ) review of data from the state police force found that more than 87 percent of troopers are white, and almost 92 percent are male.

Col. Steven O’Donnell, superintendent of the state police, says he would call diversity an issue, not a problem.

Census figures show that black, Asian and Hispanic populations have risen by 50 percent or more in the state over the past 15 years. O’Donnell says that this significant shift in Rhode Island’s cultural landscape calls for more minorities on the force.

To attract more minority candidates, the State Police Diversity Academy was launched to better provide an opportunity for employment.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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