City Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx) have called for more minority police officers in the ranks of the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Williams, deputy leader of the City Council and co-chair of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, and Gibson, chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Safety, made public their call on Tuesday after NY1 released a report stating that, of the 891 new recruits in the NYPD, 45 percent are white men, 20 percent Hispanic men and 10 percent Asian men.
“As we struggle to navigate a path to better relations between police and communities of color, we are disturbed to learn that African-American men continue to be substantially underrepresented in the NYPD,” said the Councilmembers in a statement.
“We know the department has pledged to address its issues of diversity and inclusivity – even going so far as to create a task force to explore its low recruitment of African-American men – but at a time when our administration has promised reformed is underway, we feel the urgency to address what is clearly a broken recruitment process must be accelerated,” they added.
“The NYPD can provide a positive career path for many New Yorkers, but some young African-American men do not feel welcome in this role, especially in light of recent local and national events,” they continued. “The council and administration must work collaboratively with the NYPD to strengthen their efforts introducing African-American males to careers in the police force.”
Williams and Gibson noted that, in the 1990’s, the Giuliani administration bolstered recruitment efforts by increasing marketing budgets in communities of “more color” through ethnic publications, radio and television.
“While there are still efforts made to recruit young African-American males through targeted media campaigns, we urge the department to increase the visibility of the black male officers currently serving the City,” they said.
“We remain hopeful that Commissioner Bratton and First Deputy Commissioner Tucker will address all areas of the systemic issues that have led to low recruitment among African-American males and are thankful that the Administration has taken identifiable steps toward true reform,” they added.
“We are certain that a police force that is truly reflective of the City will not only benefit the 35,000 officers who risk their lives every day, but also the more than 8 million New Yorkers they are sworn to protect,” Williams and Gibson continued.