Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Diversity on the Police Force

One of the issues I have been working on since being elected is promoting a more diverse police force, that better reflects the residents of Minneapolis.

To help do that I have been tracking the make up of each new group of officers we recruit, train and hire and I will admit that some years have been very disappointing.

This year, however, the news is pretty good. Here are the highlights of a report I recently got from Deputy Chief Gerlicher:

There are currently 891 sworn officers within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). Of those 165 are considered "minority" or people of color. This is the highest overall diversity level in the Police Department's history with 18.59% people of color.

We are at our highest levels ever for Hispanic (41), Black(67) and Asian (31) officers. Our highest level of Native American officers was 34 in 1994, currently there are 26.

New hires have helped. Fifty-two police officers were hired in 2008, with 23% people of color and 25% women.

The recruit class set for January 19th, 2009 will consist of 14 officers and should be our most diverse group ever (50%, or 7, people of color are currently enrolled).

37 Community Service Officers (CSO’s) were hired in 2008. These officers often go on to become "sworn" police officers. Of those 37, 46% are people of color and 19% are women.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that we still have a long ways to go to before our police force accurately reflects the diversity of our city, but this is better news that I have seen in the past. As a point of reference here is the ethnic make up of Minneapolis according to the 2000 census data:

Pop. 2000 382,618

Male: 192,232, 50.2%
Female: 190,386, 49.8%
White: 239,080, 62.49%
Black: 67,966, 17.29%
Asian: 23,282, 6.09%
Hispanic: 29,175, 7.63%
Other: 23,105, 6.04%

To see how far short we fall and where, here is a more specific break down of our police force by gender and ethnicity as of November 2008:

Female Employees: 141, 15.82%
Male Employees: 750, 84.18%
Minority Totals: 165, 18.52%

Total Employees: 891, 100.00%

Asian: 27, 3.60%
Black: 61, 8.13%
White: 603, 80.40%
Hispanic: 39, 5.20%
Native Am.: 20, 2.67%
Minority Total: 147, 19.60%

Asian: 4, 2.84%
Black: 6, 4.26%
White: 123, 87.23%
Hispanic: 2, 1.42%
Native Am.: 6, 4.26%
Minority Total: 18, 12.77%

I do not have the numbers for the gender and ethnicity distribution by rank and those will also be important to see. I expect to get those soon and will be paying special attention to how this year compares to past years.

Finally, I have been working with Human Resources to try to get an overall picture (or audit) of the diversity of all City employees. I am working with our HR Director, Pam French, to plan a study session for the full Council where I hope to get a complete report and analysis early in 2009. When I do, I will be sure to share it here.


At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You condescend Charles Carlson for his passionate work with the GLBTQ population, then in your diversity statistics you leave them out? Come on...

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Cam Gordon said...

I don't recall the comments you are refer to and certainly never intended to "condescend" anyone.

You raise an interesting question about GLBTQ diversity on the police force. I don't believe that this data is collected, tracked or reported, but I will double check and share what I learn here.

Thanks for writing.


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