Atlantic City will host a career opportunity expo that will give insight into what it takes to work in law enforcement.
Set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 at Pennsylvania Avenue School, it is the third event in a series presented by the state Attorney General Outreach Committee — and the first locally. The announcement was made Wednesday by the Coalition for a Safer Community of Atlantic County.
"There's a lot of talent in our inner-cities," Atlantic City Police Chief Henry White said. "We need to use that talent. We need to expose them to what law enforcement has to offer."
Those gathered for the announcement expressed the need for law enforcement agencies to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
"Not enough people are educated enough to know what the process is," said Pleasantville Police Chief Jose Ruiz, the town's first Hispanic chief.
In addition to education for young people considering a job in law enforcement, the State Police are also in the process of hiring, explained Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Williams. Online applications can be filled out starting April 21 through May 5 at njtrooper.com
But the expo reaches beyond those looking for work and is not considered a job fair. Instead, it will give insight to anyone interested in learning about what a law enforcement career entails.
The event will include an expungement seminar showing those with criminal records what can be expunged and the process it takes, explained the coalition’s Kaleem Shabazz.
“In order to have the ability to gain and maintain the trust of the community, you need to have the members of the community look at law enforcement and see themselves reflected,” acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClaincq said.
The expo, he said, is a way for law enforcement to say: “We not only want to serve you, but we want you.”
Younger people also can find out about their local Explorer programs, which begin students at 14, Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles said.
"It gives them a chance to look at law enforcement from the inside," he said.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and Pleasantville Mayor Jesse Tweedle also heralded the program.
“I believe law enforcement should definitely mirror the demographic of your city,” Tweedle said. “You have people very hesitant to come out. ... This exposure is extremely important.”
Refreshments will be served, including tomato pies donated by Formica’s.
Registration may be done online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q253LCC
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