New York Daily News
NYPD push for diversity in recruits
The NYPD wants you — even if you’re not a fan.
The nation’s largest police department Tuesday announced a three-week recruitment campaign designed to sign up applicants to take the next police exam in June.
The campaign slogan, Be the Change, is a familiar one, playing ff the words of India’s iconic noniolence advocate Mahatma Gani: “Be the change you wish to see n the world.” The Chicago Police Department uses the same motto.
“It’s the best move I ever made,” said First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, who joined the NYPD in 1969. “I took [the test] not because I liked cops very much at the time but because I thought if I ever joined the department I can be someone who looks like me to be the best cop or as good a cop as any other cop in this city.”
Tucker, who is Black, added the motto was as applicable in 1969 as it is today.
“I knew that I could make a difference and when I showed up to those jobs, responding to calls for service ... people would look at me and say ... ‘It’s good to see you — thank you for coming,’ ” Tucker recounted. “I also knew because I was a young Black guy that made a difference.”
Off a year like no other, however, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he realizes the department faces two pools of skeptics: those, particularly young Black men, who’ve had bad experiences with police; and those who might be hesitant to join the NYPD at a time of dramatic police reform, harsh criticism and low morale among the rank and file.
“You have to be honest,” he said. “We have not had trouble filling academy classes. But there’s still a lot of work we can do in diversifying.”
The NYPD has 34,974 cops, acccording to the latest department statistics. Of those, 15% are Black in a city in which 24% of the residents are Black. Whites make up 46% of the department and 32% of the city’s population. Hispanics comprise 30% of the force, compared with 29% citywide.