nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information
With Blacks being 33 percent, and Hispanics/Latinos being 27 percent (for a total of 60 percent) of New Haven residents, it is only logical that the NHPD new police officers should look more like the residents. The class of 37 new police recruits will start their training on Nov. 10, 2014. This is one leg of an extensive hurdle for the NHPD —finding Black and Latino officers. With this group of new recruits the Dept seems to be off to a good start.
The reasons the previous NHPD has always been so white and male are complex, but a large reason is the previous lack of awareness of and insensitivity to the need for community representation. Of course, structural -as in innate- racism is an integral part of our system of justice and governance; this is especially true in our communities of color. The figure below represents the last class of police recruits for New Haven. While it is a little disturbing, we find hope in the fact that there were three women representing each major racial/ethnic group, one Asian and three Hispanic males. Given the high number of unemployed Black males in New Haven, West Haven and Hamden, it is puzzling that the dept was not able to recruit a single Black male for that class. Anyway, we are moving forward.
The racial and ethnic composition of New Haven residents are as follows:
NH population is 129,772 – 33% African-A; 31 percent Caucasian; 27% Hispanic; 9 percent other. According to the article in the NHI, the current racial and ethnic composition of the NHPD is 85 percent male, 56 percent white, and 26 percent African-American. Where people are in the administrative order is also important. It is encouraging to hear some of the comments from the current class of recruits.
"Jasmine Sanders (pictured at the top of the NHI story), one of two black women accepted for the November class, said though she was aware that the department was struggling to recruit minorities, she wasn’t drawn in by the push for diversity. She was drawn by the city’s commitment to community policing. Women represent 9 percent of the recruits for the November class."
The 26-year-old from West Haven said she likes the department’s emphasis on building relationships and trust with the community. She, too, said she was interested in being a role model for young people too.
Joe Santiago (another recruit) said he’s always wanted to be a police officer because he wants to be a positive influence on young people, particularly Hispanic youth. “With the amount of Hispanic culture in New Haven, I believe that as a police officer I could do a lot to set a good example,” he said.
It seems safe to infer from the article that previous recruitment efforts were less than stellar. In keeping with OneWorld’s motto of shining light rather than cursing the darkness, we are pleased with the new efforts and hope that it will continue, and that in fact, our young people of every color, race and ethnicity will see positive role models in the NHPD, and that our communities will have less crimes and more positive interactions with the police department. We thank the NHI for the article and we encourage you to read the complete article by clicking the link below.
We highly recommend reading these articles linked below about racially represented police depts across America. The question is: Do diverse police forces treat their communities more fairly than almost-all-white ones like Ferguson’s? One of the most striking statistics to emanate from the killing of an unarmed teenager 12 days ago in Ferguson, Mo. is this one: Only 3 out of 53 police officers are black, in a town that’s two-thirds black.
An analysis by The Associated Press found that the racial gap between black police officers and the communities where they work has narrowed over the last generation, particularly in departments that once were the least diverse.
A much larger disparity, however, is now seen in the low number of Hispanic officers in police departments. In Waco, Texas, for example, the community is more than 30 percent Hispanic, but the police department of 231 full-time sworn officers has only 27 Hispanics.
Across the United States, there are police departments that still look like Ferguson, Missouri, a largely white police force protecting a mostly black community.
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