West Midlands Police has faced questions from its own crime commissioner after it emerged that just one black officer was among 162 new recruits.
David Jamieson said the force needed to do more to "look like the public it serves" after receiving details of the ethnicity of new recruits – the first employed since 2010.
The process to recruit a total of 450 officers has been staggered, with applications opened up again in March and further intakes scheduled for later this year and the first half of the 2016.
The ethnicity of the first 162 officers revealed that 139 were white, 13 were Asian, seven were recorded as being of mixed race, two were listed as 'none stated' and just one was black.
More than 30,000 people have registered an interest in applying for the positions. Mr Jamieson is now calling on the force to up its game in a bid to reach out to all communities.
He said: "West Midlands Police quite rightly only recruits the very best people, but the force clearly needs to do more to engage with communities to ensure that more BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people apply to be police officers.
"The police service should look like the public it serves.
"I believe that West Midlands Police is an open organisation that is welcoming of people from all backgrounds, but also an organisation that needs to do much more to ensure that people from all backgrounds apply to join their ranks."
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito added: "I am proud to have helped to have driven change on the use of stop and search to make it more proportional.
"The next challenge that I have set my sights on is making sure that more people from BME communities apply to join the force and make the police force look more like the public it serves.
"The number of BME people recruited by the force so far is disappointing and needs improving."
A human resources update was also delivered to the Strategic Police and Crime Board. It said: "The impact of the recruitment programme will broadly stabilise the police strength position at just under 6,900 across the next two years. Recruits from the first cohort are due to commence independent patrol in June this year."
The report said a key learning point was the lower volume of black and Chinese candidates when compared to the population of the West Midlands.
But it said the force had held pre-recruitment workshops for under-represented groups, as well as discovery days and myth busting presentations.