DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) The Dothan Police Department is hiring. They’ll be hiring through the end of July. However Dothan shares a common struggle many law enforcement offices do, recruiting minorities. During the January recruitment period 182 people applied to be officers, but only thirty-four were qualified applicants, twenty-three of them being white men and women, nine being black men and two being Asian men who made up the final register.
"How do we become part of the solution? It’s by being the solution itself", said Corporal Devellus Butler, of the Dothan Police Department.
Butler was a kid from the Bamadale subdivision of Dothan and has been a police officer in his hometown for nearly two decades. He's one of only twenty sworn minority officers in the police department a number the department is constantly trying to improve on. The D.P.D. has 197 officers serving so that means only about 10% of the force is made up of people who are not white. Patrol Captain Todd David who lived overseas and had family said bringing in officers with various backgrounds is always a good idea.
"An officer that comes to us from a diversified background brings a lot to the table", said David
Sergeant Maurice “Mac” Eggleston has been a Dothan police officer for 14 years. Police say seeing an officer who looks like you can make a difference.
"I know for everything that I do, it's going to leave an impression on someone to not just want to become a police officer but just a good person", said Eggleston.
After working in the medical field several years, Butler joined the force to change things in the neighborhood he grew up in. He's only the second person from Bamadale to put on the Dothan Police uniform. He loves to meet kids who tell him, they want to be an officer when they grow up.
"Once they start to see me then I’m hoping I can influence other young kids to also want to become law enforcement officers", said Butler.
Applications will be accepted through July 31st. You can apply by going to their website, Dothanpd.org. The requirements have changed however. For all new prospects looking to become officers you must have either a two year degree or pass a standardized test from the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training commission.