Scholarship program hopes to promote diversity within Winston-Salem police force

Scholarship program hopes  to promote diversity within Winston-Salem police force
June 25
00:00 2015

By Tevin Stinson
The Chronicle

In an effort to increase the number of minority officers, the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) has established the Bonner-Redd-Surrat-Davis Scholarship program.

The program is named after four former chiefs and is a ongoing effort to promote diversity within the department. The WSPD has teamed up with Winston-Salem State University and other historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to offer the scholarships to minority students. The department is offering money for college and a job upon graduation.

The scholarship covers tuition, book costs and all other fees at public HBCUs. At private HBCUs, the program provides an amount based on the average cost of public HBCUs.

Officer Randall White, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, participated in the program and said he became interested in it after seeing fliers posted around the campus. He decided to ask one of his professors about it, and the rest is history.
“I knew it was what I wanted to do after graduating, so I looked more into it after talking to my professor,” said White.
White said knowing the program would help him financially was another reason he decided to go through with the program.

The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of all majors. To qualify for the scholarship, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, pass a mini-background check and initial eligibility testing. Scholarship recipients must also complete a summer internship with the WSPD.

After graduation, scholarship recipients have a three-year service commitment with the department.

Lt. Danny Watts, who oversees the WSPD Recruiting unit, said the department has made it a priority to make sure the police department reflects the population of the community.

“We are using some of the newest techniques available to us to recruit minority applicants,” Watts said. “We have purchased ads on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Pandora that target African-American and Latino applicants.”

Watts said that 127 applicants have applied. “Of those 127 applicants, 37 were African-American and 15 were Hispanic,” Watts said.

For more information on the recruiting efforts of the Winston-Salem Police Department or the Bonner-Redd-Surrat-Davis Scholarship Program, call 336-773-7856 or visit and click the employment link.

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