Police Departments Find It Difficult To Recruit African-Americans
Potential recruits aren’t stepping up to apply for police jobs like they used to because of negative perceptions of law enforcement, he said.
“Your biggest recruiting tool is not going out to churches or job fairs or anything like that,” Aziz said. “Your biggest recruiter is a police officer in uniform who will say this is the best department … and you should come join it now.”
Proselytizing isn’t what it used to be.
Aziz, chairman of the National Black Police Association, says it’s even harder to attract African-American recruits, who might already have a fraught relationship with police.
Nevertheless, the percentage of minority police officers working in departments across the country has nearly doubled in the last 30 years. Public perception of racial bias among law enforcement, however, seems to have only strengthened over time.
“People have a right to have a department that mirrors their community and some of the issues would be alleviated, but it’s not a panacea to all the problems that happen,” Aziz said. “As you saw from Ferguson, having a diverse police force can reduce some of the challenges and some of the barriers that exist between law enforcement and communities.”
Community policing — building close ties between officers and the communities they serve — is the answer for Camden, New Jersey, police Chief Scott Thomson.
We wonder why Black people don’t want to be cops? Oh yeah…