racial issues in law enforcement

Powerful Essays
Topics: Police
Fabian Belgrave
Crmjus321L
Instructors: Campagna and Phelps
Due: 07/09/15

Police Departments in the United States have grown over time to be more diverse. “The virtually all-white, virtually all-male departments of the 1950s and 1960s have given way to departments with large numbers of female and minority officers. Openly gay and lesbian officers, too, are increasingly commonplace. (Sklansky, p. 1210)” This essay focuses on the demographics of the police department, who the police are, the struggles minorities encounter as police officers, and how society perceives police departments.
The responsibility of Law Enforcement Officers is to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, enforce laws, and provide service. Sir Robert Peel also known as the father of modern policing created a police force because society was becoming more complex. This was a result of the industrial revolution but also to avoid having the military to deal with the civil disorder. According to scholar David Sklansky “several decades ago, when social scientists were discovering the police, and the Supreme Court was beginning to construct the modern law of criminal procedure, American law enforcement was structured roughly the same way it is today” (p. 1209). Policing relied largely on the locals. Police departments are considered quasi-military with organized hierarchy.
According to Sklansky’s Article, “Not Your Father’s Police Department,” “the workforce has grown much more diverse with regard to gender, and more recently with regard to sexual orientation-but the pace of change has varied greatly from department to department, and virtually all departments have a goods ways left to go” (p. 1210). Figures from the National Advisory Commission Civil Disorders showed that in 1967, the minority officer percentage was less than 3 percent in Boston. In 2000, Reaves and Hickman released data showing that in 2000, Boston percentage of minority officers increased to 32 percent. 10 states were



Cited: Sklansky, David A. "Not Your Father 's Police Department: Making Sense of the New ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jul. 2015 <http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7244&am>. Carte, Gene E. "Police Representation and the Dilemma of Recruitment." Issues in Criminology 6.1 (1971): 85-95. JSTOR. Web. 08 July 2015. "Boston Police Aim To Increase Diversity On Force, But ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jul. 2015 <http://www.wbur.org/2015/06/22/boston-police-force-racial-diversity>. "Black Boston police officers facing higher discipline rates ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jul. 2015 <http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/05/black_boston_pol>. "The Race Gap in America’s Police Departments - Governing." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jul. 2015 <http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/The-Race-Gap-in-Americas-Police-Departme>.

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