CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Chambersburg Police has made three new hires, and two of them are the department’s first full-time Hispanic patrolmen. It comes as the department continues its mission to diversify its force.
Chief Ron Camacho says the department needs to represent the community it serves, and admits Chambersburg wasn’t doing a good enough job at that. He considers this is a step in the right direction.
The two historic hires are both Spanish-speaking, which the chief says is key, since there is a large Hispanic population in the borough.
Camacho, who is Chambersburg’s first Hispanic chief, says diversifying the department has been an ongoing robust effort that is especially vital during a time full of political tensions.
He tells us police recruitment has been an issue across the country, and even more so among minority candidates.
So, the department revamped marketing on billboards and social media.
It also hired recruiters to go to communities across Pennsylvania and started using a new tool called PoliceApp.
Communication increased too. Camacho and recruiters kept in touch with candidates on LinkedIn and through phone calls.
The hard work paid off, with application tripling from approximately 100 to 300.
They even found another candidate, who is still in the application and testing process, at an unexpected place.
“We even recruited a young candidate, a good candidate, during the protest,” said Camacho. “So here we are downtown. We had 20 straight days of peaceful protests and some of them were large, and one of our guys was there, and it was a veteran who was down there and spent an hour talking to our officer about the department.”
The chief says there was once a Hispanic woman who was a part-time officer, who he also considers a trailblazer. She has since moved onto other positions within the borough.