Chicago police struggling to hire black officers

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Police Department is struggling to hire more black officers despite a push to diversify the agency amid controversial shootings of black men by white officers.

The Chicago Tribune reports that while the department gained nearly 800 officers between October 2016 and March 2018, the number of black officers on the force decreased.

City Hall announced in October that 38 percent of applicants were black during the early stages of the hiring process.

Barbara West is chief of the police department's Bureau of Organizational Development. She says 44 percent of black applicants didn't take the entrance exam in December.

Black politicians say black candidates who pass the exam are screened out of the hiring process by debt restrictions, the college credit requirement and psychological testing.

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