Police Agencies asked to lower requirements, excuse drug abuse and criminal histories on recruits.

A new move toward national standards on Policing would have devastating problems for Police and Citizens.

In what appears to be a counterproductive move the Obama administration has asked Police Forces across the nation to lower standards of applicants to their forces in order to become more diversified as outlined by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

While the nation struggles to cope with the tensions that have been created by media, politicians and those seeking to gain monetarily by creating a negative narrative between Police and the communities  they serve a very questionable request has been made by the President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The request is that Police Forces across the nation actually LOWER their standards in every aspect for hiring purposes thus allowing people who have drug and alcohol histories, criminal histories and are physically unable to complete standards that have been set to enter the field of Police work.

From: The Reverse Racism Effect: Are Cops More Hesitant to Shoot Black Than White Suspects? A study by Lois James, Stephen M. James and Bryan J. Vila of Washington State University

The report that request agencies now hire these individuals who would not have been previously been hired due to “Certain barriers – including background investigations that treat all arrests and criminal convictions alike regardless of type of offense or how recent the occurrence, or even screen out those voluntarily admitting to drug use alone (without any conviction) – can prevent the agency from hiring the diverse officers it needs to connect with and serve the entire community.” has been obtained by Judicial Watch.

The report further lowers recruit standards by eliminating written tests stating in part:  ” The president’s task force has determined that certain written tests used as part of entry-level hiring in state and local law enforcement agencies are likely to create an unlawful disparate impact and are not necessary for selecting the most qualified candidates. “Reliance on these tests can create an unnecessary barrier to the hiring of qualified racial minority applicants,”

However, just because standards are lowered does not mean that training procedures are lowered in academies across the United States. During what tends to be a very difficult six month program for most recruits lower standards or less capable recruits would most certainly fail miserably quickly.

Persons who have made mistakes in the past are entitled to be treated fairly and equally. But Police Officers are held to a higher standard in society especially by the media.

This past year it was reported that 29 cadets were removed from the State Police Academy in Pennsylvania for cheating on tests. The Commissioner Tyree Blocker said “The public has, and rightfully so, an expectation that members of the State Police have the highest integrity and I am insistent on that.”

This seems to be the common belief across the world. As recently stated in a column in the Stabroek News written by a Staff Writer titled Screening before hiring will identify problem would-be police recruits the author correctly opined: “A factor which has not been addressed is the selection and hiring process of the Police Force.  Certainly the dismissal of thirty members from the ranks speaks volumes in itself. Who was responsible for the selection process whereby they were hired?   Pre-employment screening usually identifies problem potential recruits.”

This problem is being seen elsewhere and is being addressed. Here in the United States we have already addressed the problem and work diligently to screen properly. Why would we want to step backward?

The moral compass of recruits is paramount to instructors and staff of Police Agencies across the United States. Lowering the moral standards for people to fill quotas based on race is a questionable practice at best.

Then there is the problem of the recruit being unable to meet the rigorous physical demands that are required, the academic course work of learning laws and procedures, becoming familiarized with a new way of living 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year for the rest of their careers would be insurmountable for someone who was unable to pass the basic pre-requisites set in place.

Please see a normal day of a recruit as depicted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s article “Those who enter police academy out of shape find out fast they don’t belong”

In many agencies standards have already been lowered to a point that remedial reading and writing have to be added to the first weeks of a recruit’s curriculum so that they can write a simple narrative on a report that is legible.

To reduce the standards even lower would extend training times well beyond the six month duration just to allow the perspective recruit to compete academically. Any further hindrances such as physical requirements that have to be met that the recruit was not able to achieve during the pre-screening process would be further delay in their training and cost more valuable time of instructors.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the credibility of the agency that hires these people will now be in serious jeopardy and come in to question when an officer who has a questionable past is brought to trial. Any defense attorney will certainly challenge the Officers veracity and character when their client’s freedom is on the line.

Worse yet, the same tactics will be used by attorneys in litigations against municipalities charging the Officers ability to use good judgement when they can prove that the officer had criminal associations of their own in the past or has drug and alcohol problems.

After all these considerations, is this policy worth it?  According to recent studies the conclusion is emphatically no.

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Despite the attention that has been given to the false narrative of white police officers that kill black persons with impunity and with great regularity. The facts gathered from FBI and CDC reports of Police shootings throughout the United States do not support the claims. Even considering the famous Washington Post database that seems to indicate Police Shootings are on the decline.

According to a report from the Dolan Consulting Group:

African-American men may make up 6.6% of the U.S. population, but they account for 33% of those who have murdered police officers in the last three years. In other words,

African-American men are 5 times more likely to kill a police officer, but only 3.7 times more likely to be killed by the police. As the U. S. Department of Justice did not think it appropriate to collect data on the race of assailants who assault the police, it would seem highly likely that, in keeping with statistical data relating to deadly assaults upon officers, 33% of the 17,703 deadly force assaults police officers experienced in 2014 were perpetrated by African-American men.

Since the Washington Post data suggests only 25% of those killed by police use of force were African-American men, but 33% of law enforcement officers murdered in the line of duty were killed by African-American men, it appears that African-American men are less likely to be killed than their violence towards the police would suggest.

The same is true for Hispanic men. According to the Washington Post, 17% of the individuals killed by the police were Hispanic men, but 19% of those who killed police officers were Hispanic males.

Also: It is estimated that annually, police in the U.S. have 385,000,000 contacts with the public and make 11,205,833 arrests, in which 48,315 police officers are seriously injured and 990 people are killed by police. According to the Dolan Consulting Group (Richard R. Johnson, PhD), since 1971 police shootings have decreased at approximately 3.3 percent annually to historic lows.

Lastly, it should be noted that Law Enforcement is not about ‘diversity’ but ‘equality’.  Every recruit and officer should be treated equally, fairly and in an unbiased manner, regardless of their race, religion, sex, color or national origin. Officers become part of the Blue Line that separates the criminal element from the citizens that they serve and all other identities become secondary to them. Each officer should be able to perform their duties regardless of any other factors and be relied upon by other officers to do so.

Should we allow history is about to repeat itself?

From January 9, 1986 The New York Times published an article titled:

MIAMI POLICE SCANDAL RAISING QUESTIONS ON MINORITY RECRUITS  “Ten of the 12 policemen arrested recently are Hispanic and the two others are black. All were hired after 1980, when an influx of 100,000 Cuban refugees coincided with an extended outbreak of violence in black neighborhoods and allegations of police brutality. Pushed by civic leaders and the United States Justice Department, the city moved rapidly to add members of minority groups to its police force, which then had about 650 sworn officers. ‘A Real Hiring Frenzy’”

”Those hired as police officers in that period met minimum state standards but were not the best officers available,” Mr. Harms contended. ”We were also denied access to the psychological profiles of the recruits so we could get the marginal ones to undergo further testing.”

This seemingly counterproductive move is requested to ethnically diversify the Law Enforcement agencies in each community. Although studies have shown that racial bias is NOT a factor in Police shootings as projected by the aforementioned groups, policy is being set that will have an adverse reaction to the very problem that the citizenry actually do have a problem with, that being corruption and “bad cops” or “cops who can’t do their job”.

The media, legal professionals, political figures, activists, and the general public have consistently assumed that implicit racial biases will result in racially motivated decisions to shoot that favor White suspects. Our findings suggest this is not the case.

It was also reported by The Orlando Sentinel:

The department, following the commission’s order, was no longer selective. It no longer could take the best of the applicants.

”Instead of taking the cream off the top of the barrel, we were taking the whole damn barrel,” Harms said days after the first of the river cops arrests. ”Unfortunately, there were a number of fellows in that barrel that didn’t deserve to be police officers.”

Another prosecutor close to the case, who asked not to be identified, put it this way: ”If he had a pulse, he was hired.”

The police academy accelerated graduations, churning out about 40 rookies a month. Many mirrored the community. Many, like the Miami River cops, were Hispanic.

So what exactly happened with these Police officers in Miami? It turned into the most corrupt case in the history of the Miami Police Department, ending in the murder of 3 men, 350 kilos of cocaine being stolen worth $9 million. By the time it was all over, more than 100 cops has been arrested, fired, suspended or reprimanded for corruption, coercion and cocaine rip-offs unveiled during the Miami River Cops investigation, including 20 who were convicted and sent to prison.

The public needs and expects to be treated fairly under the law rather than to be treated differently because of any reason as well. Agencies, their Officers and the public need to work in unison to make this partnership of trust happen.

This should start within the Police Forces themselves who should hold the highest standards for their academies and recruit the very best people that they can to protect and serve the people within their communities.

To lower standards of Police Officers is NOT the answer to today’s problems.  Agencies NEED to hire the very best people that they can find and train them the most effective way that they can. The Officers themselves are trying desperately to weed out “bad cops” and earn the public’s trust. Dropping standards across the board in a quest to ‘look’ better is nothing but window dressing.

Officers need to be polite, professional, and capable, with integrity and the ability to do a job that most people do not want to do.

~WBL

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