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Fort Smith welcomes first Black female police officer

Arkansas

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 8/9/2018, 9:36 a.m.
For the first time in its history, the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Police Department will have a..
Areille James

For the first time in its history, the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Police Department will have a Black female officer in its ranks. FSPD recently made a big push to have a more diverse force that reflects the community, reports KARK-TV NBC. “Building community relationships and having people look at the police department as a friendly face as help and seeing our smiles and our willingness, because like I said, a lot of us are really excited about being able to help everyone,” said new officer Areille James. New Officer Joseph Underwood joins Smith along with two other men. He said diversity is positive for the future. “It's 21st century law enforcement. Diversity is important,” Underwood said. “The more we can reflect the community, I think the better we can serve the community, and I think its great the department is going in that direction.” The four new officers were sworn in Monday (Aug. 6) and are expected to be on the streets in the next few months.