CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte's crime rate has gotten a lot of attention this year and police are attacking the problem from more than one front.
One of their most vocal efforts is in recruiting police officers and firefighters that reflect the diversity of the Charlotte community.
Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles hosted the first of two Town Halls this week focused on recruiting women and minorities to jobs with the city.
A handful of residents who asked about opportunities in police and fire service heard from women and minorities working in those jobs.
Lyles says she wants women and minorities to know that jobs traditionally held by men as police officers and firefighters are a line of work that can be great jobs for women as well, especially in civilian jobs.
Battalion chief Rob Cannon at Charlotte Fire Department told NBC Charlotte that the best way to reach the two groups they're trying to recruit is by reaching them when they’re teens and still looking for future careers.
"We're doing our very best to reach out to young folks to introduce him to this career early on because it's a very unique opportunity,” said Chief Cannon.
“They need to have a taste of it early on the make sure this is something you want to do -- that you don't come into it not knowing what's in store -- come in with your eyes wide open and that's what we are trying to do."
Lyles’ next Town Hall will focus on how women and minorities can apply for contracts with the city. It is scheduled for Friday morning at 7:30 at the Government Center.
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