I Coming to Grips with the Past Until fairly recently, police departments were made up almost exclusively of politically conservative white males, primarily from the working class with a high school education and perhaps some military experience. Officers were hired to maintain the status quo. Police work and the composition of police departments have been undergoing gradual changes. However, police had often successfully used their political power to protect their turf when it came to minority hiring. It is crucial for departments to hire women and minorities in order to police their communities effectively. Participants in the criminal justice system must reflect the character of the community served.