100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care
Two Years Experience Replaces 60 College Credits For Recruits
I will never forget when my mother informed me that I would have to withdraw from college because she could no longer afford to pay my college tuition. This was primarily due to her difficulties in raising six children as a single parent with one income. It was not until I became a member of the NYC Police Department that I was able to return to my studies. Since then I have obtained two degrees and graduated with honors. My story is no different than the many qualified New Yorkers who are unable to join the NYC Police Department due to not having 60 college credits. Police Commissioner Kerik has taken a step towards addressing this problem by creating a way to recruit these qualified candidates into the Police Department without lowering the standards. He is doing this by allowing Traffic and Safety officers to use their two years experience in place of the n60 college credits. this is a win-win for New Yorkers.
The previous requirement accepted college credits from any discipline, including basket weaving. On the other hand, the two years experience requirement includes para-military training and supervisory observation that will assist in identifying the best qualified recruits.
No one could argue that employees from both of these agencies must possess the highest level of integrity and patience in carrying out their jobs. It would be hypocritical to state that School Safety officers are intelligent enough to protect the best among us, our children, yet unqualified to police the worst of us, criminals. Of course even with their para-military training both agencies will have to undergo the proper instruction to do the difficult task of policing in a multi-cultural environment such as New York. Let us not forget that countless other candidates did not have college credits and came from occupations ranging from flipping hamburgers to gas station attendants. They too had to undergo a transformation from civilians to police officers and an overwhelming number of these candidates have gone on to have long and distinguished careers. The type of training Traffic and School Safety officers already have undergone allows their transformation into becoming a police officer a natural and easy task.
By tapping into this qualified pool of candidates, the Commissioner and the Mayor can now choose from a group where the overwhelming number of candidates are Black and Hispanic and New York City Residents. We have previously failed to attract qualified candidates from these two areas. Our desire to diversify the police department should not be interpreted that we do not support a police force comprised of disciplined and educated men and women. Many of the top colleges and corporate firms of our nation honor work experience for its contribution. Police Commissioner Keriks's plan moves toward diversification without tampering with the demand for qualified applicants. It opens up the door of opportunity that was previously unfairly closed to many police applicants who had the desire, but not the financial means, to pursue the goal of higher education and a law enforcement career.
The applicant does not have to alter their goal. After becoming police officers there are many opportunities available for them to pursue college. We support a continuation of these programs. They will ensure that educational complacency will never find its roots in the police Department.
Co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care