Organization calls on CPD to hire more Black officers

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A Chicago-based media group is calling on the Chicago Police Department to hire more African American officers to better reflect the makeup of the city.

Thus far, the MEG Council, or Media Editing Group, say requests for updated hiring numbers have been ignored.

“The hiring practices have been flawed for a long time,” retired CPD captain Corwin Calhoun said.

Corwin Calhoun served with 31 years with CPD, and feels that the department discriminates when it comes to hiring.

“The African American community now rightfully demand that CPD balances its police force with the hiring of more African American applicants from its October, December 2021 in-person exams and thereafter,” Pastor Rich Redmond of Greater Missionary Baptist Church said.

A report from Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office said white applicants are far more likely to get hired by CPD than African Americans.

At the start of the initial application process, 37 percent of the department’s applicants were Black in a city where 30 percent of the population is Black.

However, by the end of the process, only 18 percent of candidates invited to the police academy were Black. Latinos made up 42 percent of those advancing to the academy in a city that is 29 percent Latino, with 34 percent of final academy invitees being white.

“I work with an organization called the Chicago West Side Police Association, we awarded student scholarships that were gang-free and drug-free, a lot of those students didn’t have a chance just by the very geography of where they lived or the color of their skin,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun feels too many Black applicants are excluded for juvenile records in background checks and for failing the psychological test.

The Inspector General has said the department should reevaluate its hiring practices for bias and specify the benchmarks for diversity in its hiring.

“Remember the 2011 promise by Rahm Emanuel, we will hire new recruits that reflect the community in which they serve? That was his promise, we do not see it that was 10 years ago,” Redmond said.

Black and female applicants had the highest attrition rates from 2016 to 2018 among all candidates. CPD said in July it is working with a consultant to address these concerns, but that the consultant won’t fully begin that effort until 2022 when funding is available.

Pastor Rich Redmond offered the following statement in full:

“What has always been suspicious about the Chicago Police Department (CPD) discriminatory hiring practices against Black applicants was proven to be true this summer in a local TV news stations’ interview with Chicago’s Deputy Inspector General (IG).
 
Given the revelations from this interview, the African-American community at large now rightfully demands that CPD balance its police force by hiring more African-American applicants from its October and December 2021 “In-Person Exams.”
 
While the IG’s findings make note that CPD is hiring a suitable number of minorities, it also makes clear that most of the minorities hired are not of African-American descent.
 
The Media Editing Group (MEG), a TV News Community Mediation Group has respectfully asked all major Chicago TV news stations to provide viewers with “the number of new recruits hired by CPD according to their race.”
 
MEG can confirm that each station did request this information from CPD through the “Freedom of Information Act” (FOIA), and CPD has denied them all, which according to city and state law is illegal.
 
In 1983, The late Mayor Harold Washington enacted the “Freedom of Information Act” that required all city departments to comply.  This includes CPD, the one city department (above all other departments) that is sworn to obey the law, uphold the law, enforce the law, but thinks of itself as being above the law.
 
CPD’s resistance to comply with Freedom of Information requests is unscrupulous, is unacceptable, and above all is illegal.  The Media Editing Group will continue to work collaboratively with TV news outlets to ensure that this information is provided to the public posthaste.
 
CPD’s discriminatory hiring practice is indicative of its failed leadership and a clear example of its inability to decipher how this injustice is relevant to the ever-existing distrust between it and the Black community.
 
The MEG Network includes hundreds of faith and community leaders throughout Cook County. One will be hard-pressed to find a sensible and sizeable group within Chicago’s African-American communities that do not agree with the demand for more African-American police officers.”
 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

Latest News

More News