FERGUSON, Mo. --As the new interim police chief in Ferguson, Andre Anderson knows this town is still recovering from riots touched off last year when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
A lot of people would ask why he would want this job.
"I've always been known as a consensus builder and one that can work within the boundaries of racial discord," said Anderson.
The Justice Department launched an investigation into Ferguson's law enforcement practices. They found police routinely profiled and "discriminated against African Americans." Between 2012 and 2014, 93 percent of all arrests were of black people.
"There are police officers here that quite frankly some of them don't understand the dynamics of many people in the minority community and to some degree I would say that it's not their fault," Anderson explained. "Because we have to train people to understand where they serve."
The community they serve is two-thirds black. A year ago there were four black officers out of 52. Today that number isn't much different: Only five black cops out of a force of 50, but Anderson says to look beyond the numbers.
"I always place an emphasis on getting people with good character and getting people with great decision making skills," he said. "So obviously race is a factor, but truly we just need good people."
The biggest priority for Anderson? Telling cops to just get out there and talk to people.
"If you're not interacting with the public on a regular basis and you're interacting with individuals that were arrested, if formulates an opinion in general so it's going to take time to change the culture. Give it time, we will get there."
Anderson says he will have some of those reforms in place within six months. But as interim police chief, there are no guarantees that Ferguson's city council will appoint him to the permanent post. He says he'd like to stick around for the long haul to see those changes put in place.