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Despite a successful push in 2016 to attract more black applicants to the police force, the Chicago Police Department has hired relatively few African-Americans.

In 2017, the police department hired whites and Latinos at rates more than double that of African-Americans, who made up just 17 percent of the total 1,126 new hires.

It’s not that blacks shy away from seeking police jobs. A Chicago Reporter examination of police hiring data going back to 2013 – the most complete recruitment records available – shows that many African-Americans have applied to the force in recent years. They just haven’t been hired, hurting efforts to further diversify the department as it struggles to improve its relationship with black communities.

Of more than 8,000 black applicants, nearly 30 percent didn’t show up for the written entrance exam, the first step in the recruitment process, while 17 percent failed the test, according to data analyzed by the Reporter. Many applicants who passed the test later dropped out of the process, which includes an extensive background check and physical, psychological and drug tests.

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