I am in the process of appointing a working group to assist with recruitment and retention of women and minorities in city government positions.
Having a workforce that reflects the makeup of the community has been a priority for me during my entire service as mayor and commissioner. We have worked very hard to ensure that every effort is made to recruit candidates interested in serving as police officers.
During my first term as mayor, we started a partnership with Kentucky State University to hire KSU students in the criminal justice program to serve as parking enforcement officers with Frankfort Police Department. The program was successful in attracting several students who started as parking enforcement officers and later became Frankfort police officers.
Unfortunately, we have lost several female and minority officers to other agencies that were either closer to the officers’ families or larger agencies that offered a higher level of compensation.
As a result of this, the city is also looking at restoring the longevity raises that were in effect for several years but discontinued. Those longevity raises were an important part of attracting and retaining police officers and other city employees and I think this would be one way to help on so many levels.
Last week, I met with our new police chief and city manager and retired District Court Judge Joyce Albro to discuss ways to attract and retain a diversified city police force. Judge Albro contacted me after she saw a photo of our police officers in a news article and noticed that our police force did not look diverse.
After that meeting, I thought it was time to review how the city could find new ways that maybe we have not thought of to attract and retain women and minority candidates for city positions. So, I spoke with the city manager and police chief and we all agreed that a working group could be helpful.
It is my intention to keep the working group small enough to be manageable but still involve enough people with diverse backgrounds to help us find solutions to make our workforce more diverse and reflective of our community.
As always, I am open to any suggestions on how to make city government better. I can be reached at City Hall at 502-875-8500 City Hall or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill May is mayor of Frankfort.