The U.S. Justice Department has filed a complaint against the City of Corpus Christi, aimed at changing the way the police department goes about the process of hiring female officers.
The suit claims that the Corpus Christi Police Department has discriminated in hiring women by using a physical ability test that only a few female applicants have been able to pass.
Assistant City Manager Troy Riggs became aware of this issue just a few weeks after he was hired as the police chief, back in October 2009. Ever since then, he has been working on getting more females on the force.
"I realized within the first week that we were representative of our community with one glaring example, and that was the amount of women in our police department. That was seven-percent," Riggs said. "I was concerned, and brought it to the attention of leadership. You can't fix what's happened in the past 10-15 years in one cycle. So there are still things that need to occur."
According to Riggs, the last class to graduate from the police academy consisted of more females, at about 16-percent. Back when he was police chief, Riggs put together a team to address the issue and look at the numbers to see how and when the problem started.
One of the changes Riggs is working on right now is allowing the police force to have more control in the hiring process.
Right now, the Corpus Christi Police Department has 39 females on the force. That is fewer than other police departments of similar size.
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