Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to hold a second police entrance exam in two years in order to diversify the police department, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
Alderman Anthony Beale said crime-fighting will suffer if the police department continues to have an overbalancing of white officers. He believes changes are to be made to background checks and psychological exams.
“These are the tools used to weed out and disqualify minorities and keep out people of color. You need to change the criteria. It needs to be more than one person’s opinion,” Beale said.
Beale believes it is important to diversify the Chicago Police Department to reflect the racial diversity of Chicago, especially in the wake of high profile deaths of African-American suspects during police involved shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and New York City.
Beale also said that if the imbalance in minorities in police as well as fire departments continues, then police-related incidents will also continue to cause controversy on a national scale.
“If you look at all the incidents happening across the country, they’re happening against minorities,” he said. “You have a workforce that doesn’t know how to relate to certain communities. You can’t teach that. You can have all of the sensitivity training in the world. You won’t know how to relate to certain communities. What we need is more common sense and less book sense.”
Spokesman for Chicago Police Department Anthony Guglielmi said 4,457 candidates remain on the 2013 eligibility list so far and they plan for that number to go up next year.
Guglielmi is excited that the new police recruitment process will guarantee a fully staffed police department.
In an email to the Chicago Sun-Times, Guglielmi wrote, “Through this application process and recruitment campaign, we want to attract high-quality, diverse candidates that can help us continue to reduce crime and violence and ensure the demographics of our police department reflect those in our city. Engaging outside experts will increase awareness of the opportunity to join the police force, boosting our efforts to attract a more diverse applicant pool and ultimately have a force that is more reflective of the city as a whole.”
In an effort to attract a pool of applicants that “better reflect Chicago’s diverse population,”