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Leslie Marant, the first Chief DEI Officer for the Philadelphia Police Department. Photo courtesy of Police Commissioner Outlaw's Twitter.
Leslie Marant, the first Chief DEI Officer for the Philadelphia Police Department. Photo courtesy of Police Commissioner Outlaw's Twitter.

Philadelphia Police Department hires its first Chief DEI Officer

Leslie Marant will oversee the diversity and inclusion efforts within the department.

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The Philadelphia Police Department has made a historic appointment as it hires Leslie Marant as its first Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Marant is local to Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University.

Marant’s background is in law and nonprofit. She was the Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and worked for the Federal Equal Opportunity Commission. Both of these commissions work against discrimination. 

She was also the Chief of Staff for Universal Education Company, a nonprofit that works with charter schools to ensure that students are prepared for higher education. In addition, Marant was also a staff attorney for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for 20 years.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said of Marant’s appointment, "Her experience in both the private and public sector will provide insight into best practices while strengthening the PPD’s mission of transparency, accountability, and equity within our organization.

In addition to her professional positions, Marant has also served as a public health advocate within her community. This work led to a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the creation of the Philadelphia Health Justice Summit. 

Dann Cuellar of 6abc reported that Marant believes that it’s too early to tell if the police department needs to make improvements and that she will know more once she looks at the metrics and data. 

When talking about the department’s hiring practices and policies Marant said [the goal is], "To make sure that we have policies, practices, procedures, benchmarks and accountability measures that include not only diversity, equity and inclusion efforts but also accessibility. The racial and the gender and LGBTQ and disability numbers of the department should also look like what it looks like in Philadelphia in general.

The department stated that part of Marant’s role will be to focus on implementing equity and inclusion programs as Philly police work to continue building trust within the communities they serve. 

A May 2021 report by 6abc, looked into how the tri-state area ranked compared to other metropolitan areas in equitable representation between the police and population. The area, which includes Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington, ranked 50th out of 100. The tri-state area ranks among the lowest in terms of equitable representation for the Asian community

As of 2021, women make up 22% of police in Philly. In March 2021, the department took the 30x30 pledge, which states that they will work to get women to make up 30% of officers by 2030. 

Police departments in cities like Los Angeles and Detroit have also hired DEI officials. Mary Engelman was hired as the Detroit Police Department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion executive manager in January of 2022, and Commander Ruby Flores was named the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department in December 2020.

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