City School Board Member’s – “Police Diversity Plan” Falls Short
In response to Randall Johnson’s call for a City of Poughkeepsie Police Diversity Action Plan ……. ”comprehensive roadmap” to recruit more women and minority police officers in the city” (Mid-Hudson News 1/25/15), Mr. Johnson suggests that the city should hire a Minority Recruitment Police Officer to help recruit at local high schools, churches, and community based organizations.
Mr. Johnson’s plan is very narrow in scope and it falls too short to yield the result that we would need. Recruiting and building a diverse police department goes way beyond talking to the youth at the high school. It encompasses a multi-prong approach that addresses both community & police relations and workforce diversity. Unfortunately, due to his lack of municipal experience, his plan is not cost efficient or an effective way to diversify the city’s Police Department.
To hire a Police Minority Recruitment Officer at $77,971 (including benefits), would be economically unwise. We must strategically deploy our police force and available resources and direct them in a way to protect our community.
As Mayor, I would call on our retired City of Poughkeepsie Police Officers to assist us in recruiting minority applicants. I believe we can train several retired volunteer police officers to talk about law enforcement careers throughout the school year at the local area high school and colleges as well as places of worship.
Secondly, I would request assistance from the County in recruiting efforts throughout the county to find qualified and dedicated minority applicants.
As a City Councilman I have spoken on the need to diversify our police department as I believe that our police force should be reflective of the neighborhoods they serve and protect.
As a direct result of our outreach efforts with the City of Poughkeepsie Council members, our elected County Legislators and community, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department had nine minority applicants for November’s civil service exam. The City is currently waiting for the applicants’ test scores. It is my sincere hope that our efforts will have enabled some of these applicants to score high enough to be considered for an interview and future employment with the City of Poughkeepsie.
As Mayor, my administration would continue to build collaborations and foster strategic partnerships with institutions of higher education (Dutchess Community College, Marist College, SUNY New Paltz), businesses, and military recruiters as our outreach and recruitment efforts must adhere to the new civil service qualifications set by Dutchess County on August 29, 2014:
The initiative I undertook to increase minority applicants in taking the civil service exam is just another example of the experience and leadership skills that I would employ as your next Mayor.
3rd Ward Councilman
Mayoral candidate for the City of Poughkeepsie