LAKE WORTH, Fla. — More than 20 local police departments and organizations from Miami to Orlando were at the annual Criminal Justice Job Fair at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus.
Patricia Brown is the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives for the South Florida chapter also known as NOBLE. They aim to ensure diversity at all levels in law enforcement. They partnered with Palm Beach State College, among other organizations, to put on a criminal justice job fair.
“Our world can only change, if we get involved,” said Brown. “We don’t want any more division. We want unity.”
Brown has been in law enforcement for more than 40 years. She recently retired as a lieutenant. Brown said a lot had changed when she first started in her career, but there are ways to go.
“There weren’t many females that looked like me in law enforcement. We were primarily assigned to the corrections division in the jail,” Brown said. “That’s where you would find the majority of your minorities. I’ve seen that change. I like to see the change that is occurring now.”
Sonia Harrison from the City of Aventura Police Department was among the law enforcement agencies at the college.
She said she hopes to change the perception of law enforcement by talking to potential applicants face to face.
“Somebody may have an insight from their past that another person may not have,” said Harrison. “If you get all of that information together, you have resources that are untapped that people don’t understand they can utilize.”
“We want our young folks to look, not at where they are now but where they can be,” Brown said. “We want them to focus on having not a job, but a career.”