Nassau County Executive Curran implements 10-member Police Diversity Committee

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday the formation of a 10-member Police Diversity Committee aimed at increasing diversity in the county police department.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2021, 7:51 PM

Updated 1,049 days ago

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday the formation of a 10-member Police Diversity Committee aimed at increasing diversity in the county police department.
This comes after a long-term Newsday investigation revealed last week that about 6,500 African Americans tried to join the Nassau Police Department, but only 1% made it to the force. That was over a nine-year period.
Bishop Lionel Harvey is one of the 10 people tasked with figuring out why there are so few minorities on the police force. The committee will look at recruitment, testing and training practices.
"Maybe it's something that's slanted," says Harvey. "Maybe they're looking for a different type of answer to a different type of question."
Curran says she's taking action to get to the bottom of what is going on and why the numbers are so low.
"We want to focus on new methods and strategies to reach more potential police officers from all our communities, our minority communities," says Curran. "We've been trying, we've been working on that, and we're open to new ideas, we're open to being better at this."
Dennis Jones, a retired New York City police detective who lives in Hempstead, says he believes it could be bias, implicit, or not, from the psychologists reviewing answers to personal questions.
"Things such as, as Commissioner Ryder put it, coming from a challenged home, a broken home, things in your past that may be, maybe domestic violence," says Jones.
Curran says she will be seeking ongoing recommendations from the committee, especially ahead of the next police officer civil service exam. That exam will likely be scheduled in 2022.
"It's complicated," says Curran. "There are so many rules and regulations. Let's see what needs to be amended. Let's see what needs to be updated."
According to the NCPD, here’ the breakdown:
Sworn Male = 2,125
White = 1,862
Hispanic = 151
Black = 80
Asian = 24
Other = 8
Sworn Female = 264
White = 205
Hispanic = 34
Black = 23
Asian = 1
Other = 1


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