COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Change within the Columbus Police Department has been brewing for months from the top down.
With the search for a new police chief, the department is undergoing its most significant overhaul in recent memory.
The face of the force literally changes as well with each new recruit.
Attracting a more diverse police force was just one focus of Coffee with a Cop Wednesday.
A national initiative now in its fourth year, local officers met with residents at a dozen coffee shops around Columbus.
It gave people a chance to talk about crime, safety and anything else.
At Luck Brothers in Grandview, Sergeant Christopher Smith, who is the head of the recruiting unit, chatted with potential recruits.
Nineteen-year-old Abdullah Ahmed says he’s looking forward to turning 20 next June so he can officially apply to become a police officer.
He says an ethnically diverse police force is essential to building trust and ensuring safety.
“Because the community is ethnically diverse as well. There’s a lot of immigrants in Columbus. It’s a high immigrant area. There’s a lot of people and law enforcement interacts with the community a lot. So you should have Arab officers, officers that speak Spanish, all kinds of officers,” said Ahmed.
For perspective, Sergeant Smith says for the last two recruit classes, about 2,000 to 2,400 people applied for about 80 to 100 open positions.