Race And Ethnicity In Police Employment Practices

1730 words - 7 pages

Race and Ethnicity in Police Employment Practices PAGE 1
Running head: Race and Ethnicity in Police Employment PracticesRace and Ethnicity in Police Employment PracticesJolene J. OrlowskiCultural Diversity in Criminal Justice CJA420University of PhoenixInstructor Kevin DziobaAugust 5, 2007Race and Ethnicity in Police Employment Practices"Minorities are encouraged to apply," is what it states on most, if not all, criminal justice applications and job descriptions today. What does that mean for minorities? Does it mean minorities can feel safe and secure applying to that department just because all departments are required by state and/or federal laws to include that phrase in their hiring practices? I have personally seen that exact phrase on employment applications and job descriptions of departments that are or have been involved in discriminatory lawsuits. As a result, I do not believe that minorities are "encouraged to apply" because police departments want them there but more so because the departments need to meet their percentage of minority representation. Currently race and ethnicity is not any less discriminated against than it was a century ago, the only difference is that employing agencies know what rules they can and cannot visibly break, and how much they can "bend" the rules before potentially getting into trouble.What does this mean for the millions of people that are minorities searching for jobs in the criminal justice system today? It means that all of us need to be aware of exactly what practices are illegal and what exactly we can do about it if our rights are violated. Stopping the cycle and not accepting discriminatory practices, regardless of the circumstances, is the key to stopping discriminatory police employment practices nationwide. In the following pages I will identify the history of race within police employment, the geographical differences of how racial diversity is viewed, Supreme Court cases that address some issues relative to police employment discrimination concerning race, and some suggestions for improvement now and in the future to prevent the cycle from continuing.Historically there have been major efforts made towards the improvement of the primitive employment practices of the pre-civil rights era. In 1829 the first organized police service, called Metropolitan Police Force, was created in London following Sir Robert Peels' police Bill. In the United States the first police department implemented was Boston Police Department in 1838 (Wikipedia, 2007). However, it was not until 1916 that Los Angeles Police Department hired the first African-American police officer, (referred to as matrons back then) her name was Georgia Ann Robinson (Wikipedia, 2007). In the 1900's the few minorities that were in policing did not have as many duties and rights as other non-minority officers, this was due primarily to it being the pre-civil rights era. It was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that people of all...

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