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Green Bay Black Officer

Solomon Ayres, left, is Green Bay's first black officer in 152 years.

Green Bay has a black police officer for the first time in the 152-year history of its Police Department.

Solomon Ayres starts the first phase of a 17-week training regime this week. He says he expects some resistance from both black and white residents. But thinks his life experiences will help defuse difficult situations and make him open to different points of view.

Fran Jonet, president of Green Bay’s Police and Fire Commission, says hiring a black recruit is a long-awaited step in the right direction.

Census figures show that African-Americans make up about 2.5 percent of Green Bay’s more than 98,000 people. Its Police Department as 177 officers, including 15 women, four American Indians or Alaska natives and one Hispanic.

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