Metro Explorer program encouraging minority youth to become offi - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro Explorer program encouraging minority youth to become officers

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Las Vegas Metro police have seen a spike in minorities interested in joining the force. 

"It's awesome. We are actively trying to recruit more minorities to our agency," Officer Michael Rodriguez, a spokesman with the department said. "We want to mirror our community." 

According to statistics provided by the department, Metro saw a 19 percent increase in minority hires between 2012 and 2016. Police credited the spike in part to their outreach programs including Metro Explorer. 

Metro Explorer is a mentoring program for young people between the ages of 16 and 21. Participants are paired with Metro officers. 

"It most definitely changed my perspective on police officers," Keith Flowers, 18, said.

Flowers said he grew up in central Las Vegas. 

"I saw police officers patrolling around," Flowers said. "It was like something bad might happen." 

Flowers said this program helped him see police differently and aspire to do the same work. 

Metro police said they have noticed an increase in minorities in their Explorer program also. 

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