First responder fields—including law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency management services—serve a crucial role in the safety and well-being of communities around the country. Public citizens and officials have placed a renewed focus on improving agencies’ relations with their local communities by ensuring that first responders reflect the populations they serve. The potential benefits of increasing diversity and moving toward greater representation could also provide more secure and rewarding employment opportunities to historically underrepresented populations. This exploratory study identifies promising practices that first responder agencies and organizations can leverage to increase the diversity of their workforces.
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