Sheriff’s office creates employment initiative for racial and gender equity

Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier announced the creation of an employment recruiting initiative to continue efforts for racial and gender equity in the public safety workforce. The Sheriff’s Office Community Circle for Racial and Gender Equity as an Employer of Choice initiative will be an open forum to bring community leaders together with Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Communication Center leaders and recruiters to increase pathways to employment opportunities.

1. Sergeant Suwana Kirkland (Photo courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)
Sergeant Suwana Kirkland (Photo courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

“Over the past six years, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office has become an employer of choice for people of color looking to enter the law enforcement profession,” Sheriff Serier said. “We are seeking to continue this momentum by forming a group of community members who will advise staff on outreach efforts,” added Serier. “This group will provide direct feedback and suggestions for open and continuing dialogue.”

The first meeting of the group will take place on Friday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, 425 Grove Street, Saint Paul. Free parking is available in the front of the building.

Suwana Kirkland, a sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office, has been selected to lead the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Community Circle for Racial and Gender Equity as an Employer of Choice initiative. Kirkland has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since 2007. During her career, Kirkland has served as a correctional officer, court security deputy, transport deputy, recruitment coordinator, hostage negotiator, honor guard member, and mobile field force member. She is also an instructor of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) de-escalation techniques. Sergeant Kirkland is a supervisor in the Training & Professional Development Unit overseeing background investigations and recruitment. Kirkland currently serves as Vice President for the Minnesota chapter of the Black Police Officers Association.

“Suwana Kirkland is very active in the community and she will do an excellent job of leading this new initiative”, Serier said. “To achieve racial and gender equity, we start by working on bridging communities to employment opportunities, then continue working on ladders to advancement opportunity when hired. This initiative provides a venue to support these continuing efforts.”