HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Harrisburg Police Department has 137 officers. Only 9% are black, and less than 4% are Hispanic.

Captain Milo Hooper has been with the department for 26 years. He says there are a lot of layers that contribute to those statistics, but he says they want more diversity and they want people to know it will make a difference.

“I grew up in Harrisburg, Hooper said. “I know the city and I know the neighborhoods and the people, it matters.”

When he is in the field, he makes an effort to reach out to people on the spot.

“I ask them, have you ever considered a career with us,” Hooper said. “You can make a difference and have a rewarding career.”

Hooper says Commissioner Tom Carter and Mayor Eric Papenfuse have pushed for more involvement in the community, by enhancing outreach efforts and developing a community services division. That will help develop stronger relationships between residents throughout the city and the police force.

Hooper says there will continue to be recruiting challenges in Harrisburg, but they are asking city residents to get involved, by suggesting more effective recruiting efforts in their neighborhoods and communities.