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Township Council: FTPD Getting More Diverse, More Work To Be Done

The Franklin Township Police Department has become more diverse over the past several years, but it still has a ways to go before it reflects the demographics of the township, township officials said on February 23.

Demographic statistics of the department were reviewed during the Township Council’s virtual meeting by Councilwoman Crystal Pruitt (D-At Large).

“This is something that is really personal to me in making sure we had a change of culture and increase in diversity ion the force, and I know my colleagues share that desire,” Pruitt said.

Statistics provided by Pruitt showed that the department has hired more women, opened up supervisory positions to more people of color, and also opened up the department’s ranks in general to more people of color.

“We’re really trying to challenge the status quo and make a difference,” she said.

In 2017, Pruitt said, 10 percent of sworn officers were female. Currently, she said, 13 percent of sworn officers are female.

“I’m not saying that … we’re done, but there is improvement,” she said.

In 2017, Pruitt said, 85 percent of the police force was White, 14 percent was Black and 1 percent was Asian. Currently, she said, 73 percent of the force is White, 23 percent is Black and 4 percent is Asian.

“So we are making great strides in shifting the demographics to make the force more representative of our town,” she said.

In 2020, 14 percent of the department’s supervisors were Black, she said. That share has increased to 25 percent, she said.

“That’s just in the calendar year, and I think that really is a credit to our police director and a credit to my colleagues and myself for really pushing that this is possible, that change comes from the top and that we need a department that reflects the township,” she said.

According to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey – the latest year for which statistics are available – Franklin’s estimated population of 65,554 breaks down to 43 percent White, 30 percent Black and 12 percent Asian Indian.

The ACS also estimates that 52 percent of township residents are female and 48 percent are male.

“I’m very happy to see we are bringing in new leadership into the police department and I’m looking forward to all the improvements with diversity and leadership we’re going to have on our police department,” Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large) said after Pruitt’s presentation.

Mayor Phil Kramer said Franklin has “a very good police force, led by a very strong woman.”

“I’m happy with the statistics that Councilwoman Pruitt presented,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction; we have more work to do. We are in a better place than we were three years ago, and I’m grateful for that.”

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