Among Commissioner Ray Kelly's legacies: A majority of the police officers in New York City are now minorities, and have been since roughly 2006, reports the New York Times. But as the NYPD has attracted an increasing range of nationalities — officers hail from Albania to Yemen — department statistics reveal a decline in new recruits among black New Yorkers. The decline comes despite aggressive recruitment efforts in places like central Harlem and the Bronx.
In 2003, 18 percent of the Police Academy's 2,108 graduates were black. Of the 1,247 recruits who started the academy this summer and will graduate on Friday, blacks make up about 10 percent, according to the department. By contrast, the percentage of Hispanic recruits has remained around 25 percent from 2003 till now, and the percentage of white non-Hispanic recruits has actually risen in recent years, to 57 percent from 52 percent in 2003. Possible explanations include demographic shifts in the city's black population, a rise in the number of new immigrant applicants, and the starting salary of $42,000.