Chicago’s Black Ministers: Hire More African-American Cops


If Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is serious about re-establishing trust between police and the black community, he should hire and promote more African Americans. That’s the message black ministers have delivered to Weis during a series of fence-mending meetings — and the statistics back them up, says the Chicago Sun-Times. One in four patrol officers is African American, but just one in 12 lieutenants is black. The Rev. Marshall Hatch of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, said the numbers “go a long way toward explaining the disconnect between the police and the black community [] It’s what makes the police force feel more like an occupying force.”

Police Department spokeswoman Monique Bond said Weis is committed to diversity in all ranks, and he has backed up those words with action in just over a month on the job. Of the 90 people Weis has promoted so far, 58.8 percent are white, 27.7 percent are black and 11 percent are Hispanic. In 2005, the police department advertised on the Internet, publicized the police test on buses and trains and on the municipal cable channel, and revived a once-popular cadet program for high school students. Police officials also reached out to graduating seniors at historically African-American colleges and relied on a network of community and faith-based organizations that had previous success in boosting minority applications. The campaign paid off. Of the new applicants, 34 percent were black, 24 percent Hispanic and 26 percent women.


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