ABC News reported the swearing in of veteran Miami police officer, Delrish Moss, Monday in Ferguson, Missouri, becoming the city’s first Black Police Chief, a position that was formerly held by Tom Jackson.
Following the 2014 shooting death of Mike Brown by a White police office – which a grand jury declined to indict – the Justice Department opened an investigation that uncovered multiple instances of racial bias in Ferguson’s criminal justice system. This led to Jackson’s resignation.
Moss believes it’s the department’s task to bring “nobility” back to police work and hopes to diversify the police force. “The department now has very few females in sworn positions,” he told the New York Times. “There’s, I think, a total of 54 police officers, and I think three or four African-Americans.”
Along with diversification in the police department, Moss also wants to bring youth programs to Ferguson.
“One of the things is, I want to increase the interaction — police with youth. I am not talking about negative interaction; I am talking positive interaction,” he said. “I want to start a mentoring program. I want to start a Police Athletic League. I have been talking to the Do the Right Thing director here in Miami about Do the Right Thing [a youth program] coming to Ferguson. We’re going to do stuff like staff walks, so the staff gets out there and knocks on doors and talks to business owners and residents.”
Drawing from his own personal experience with law enforcement as a Black youth Moss adds, “I took this job for a specific reason. I have said it time and again: I was mistreated by police officers. I saw the way police officers acted in my community. I was determined to be a better service provider than I had gotten.”
“The biggest challenge is that, ingrained in the American fabric there is a disconnect between the African-American community and the police department,” Moss concluded.
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