Philadelphia Police Department hires first-ever diversity officer

The lifelong Philadelphian says the city's diverse makeup should be reflected in the department's policies and hiring practices.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Meet Leslie Marant, the Philadelphia Police Department's first-ever Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.

The lifelong Philadelphian is a graduate of Temple University, and she says the city's very diverse makeup should be reflected in the police department's policies and hiring practices.

"To make sure that we have policies, practices, procedures, benchmarks and accountability measures that include not only diversity, equity and inclusion efforts but also accessibility," said Marant. "The racial and the gender and LGBTQ and disability numbers of the department should also look like what it looks like in Philadelphia in general."

She says what makes her uniquely qualified is serving as the former chief counsel to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and her work for the Federal Equal Opportunity Commission to investigate federal discrimination complaints.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw believes the department will benefit enormously from her experience as it continues to build and, in some cases, rebuild trust with the communities it serves.

"It's not just a matter of making sure we have the right number of people, we want to make sure that we are involving everyone within the department and outside of the department in all of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts," said Marant.

Marant says it is too early to tell what areas of the police department may need improvement. She says once she looks at the data and metrics, the department will know what they'll need to do moving forward.

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