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.