The New York Police Department (NYPD) has a long history of being accused of treating Black people, as well as other minorities in New York unfairly, which causes tensions. Although there are some in the community who want to be part of the change in the culture of the NYPD, the entrance fee can be a hindrance toward that goal. But, there seems to be a change in the air, according to the police commissioner.
According to theGrio, at a press conference earlier this week, NYPD Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, announced that the NYPD saw an increase in applications from minorities prepared to take the entrance exam in comparison to past years. This may be due to the elimination of an entrance fee typically associated with the exam.
In an effort to boost recruitment this year, NYPD officials said that it waived the usual fee of $40 for taking entrance exams and extended the sign-up period to encourage enrollment. The department also did an extensive recruitment drive on social media platforms and police officers went into neighborhoods to try to encourage applicants to sign up for the tests, the officials said. The slogan for the recruitment drive was “Be the Change.”
Former NYPD Sergeant Joseph Giacalone, who is currently an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice stated, “It’s not a big surprise. With all the anti-cop rhetoric and all of the legislation that goes against the cops, just about everywhere it seems as if the good guys are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that officials have stated that out of 14,502 people, at least more than half of them, 7,553, were minorities who had signed up to take the entrance exam next month. The last exam was held in November 2019. Back then, there were 15,422 people who applied, and the number of minorities who signed up was at least 6,710.
Out of the applicants who signed up for this year’s test who self-identified as Black, that number was at 29.2%. When comparing the average percentage over the past 5 years, that number was 17.8%.