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Leffler calls for diversity in NYPD hiring process

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City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, called for the New York City Police Department to increase its recruitment, hiring and promotion of the minority and women officers.

The Police Department needs to develop a strategic plan to increase minority hiring, Leffler told a new conference on the steps of City Hall, Friday.

At the end of February there were 38,837 officers in the Police Department, a level that is already below the anticipated number of 39,862 officers for the Police Department’s end of year head count.

According to Leffler, the attrition rate of police officers averages about 1,676 per year, which translates to 210 per month. Based on those statistics, the department will lose another 840 officers from March 1 to June 30 — when the NYPD tallies its number of officers.

“This means the department has noticeably overestimated the year-end head count,” he said, “yet it has not addressed how it will recruit officers to make up for the shortfall and avoid the continued loss of federal Crime Bill funding.

“The unanticipated increase in attrition presents the department with the opportunity to develop a strategic plan that could make up for the fall in head count and improve diversity in the police force,” Leffler said.

He said the retirement of supervisory police officers opens up the doors for the promotion of minorities and women into the emptied slots. He said the increase in minorities and women in supervisory roles — where they are severely underrepresented — could have a positive effect and spur career advancement.

Leffler’s strategic plan calls for the NYPD to officially set future targets for diversity as it does for the total number of officers in the force.

“Strategic planning to make an organization more diverse and reflective of the population it serves has been done by scores of private institutions and other municipali­ties,” Leffler said. “The department should review other plans when developing one of its own.”

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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