New Jersey police departments remain dominated by white males | NJ Spotlight News

Still dominated by white males, New Jersey law enforcement agencies have made a little progress in diversifying their ranks to better mirror the racial and ethnic makeup of the communities they serve, according to new data from the state attorney general’s office.

At the end of 2022, non-Hispanic white people remained the vast majority among police officers — about 68% of all in agencies across the state, compared with 52% of New Jerseyans who are white.

The percentage of Black, Asian and Hispanic people in the ranks of law enforcement is smaller than their share of the state’s population. The greatest increase from 2021, according to an NJ Spotlight News analysis of the state’s police data recruitment dashboard, was in the ranks of Hispanic officers, whose number rose by almost 6%.

Many departments appeared to not be following several laws designed to increase diversity in state law enforcement and provide transparency about the race, ethnicity and gender of officers. The laws, signed in 2021, were enacted in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer the year before.

Even greater disparity exists by gender…

Full story: New Jersey police departments remain dominated by white males | NJ Spotlight News

3 Replies to “New Jersey police departments remain dominated by white males | NJ Spotlight News”

  1. With the New Jersey Police Department dominated by one category, white males, will others in the community feel under represented and unheard? It has seem that the police department in NJ has given little to no efforts to try and make their department more diverse. Only about half the people in New Jersey are even white, so the under representation is very bold. With this comes biased in the community and within the department itself. The community is not going to trust its officers and therefore crime will be more prevalent as no one is going to want to go to the police for any help. Some, not all, of the officers may create some bias into how they treat or help certain people in the community because of the stigma behind race. Behind race, recruiting female officers seems to be an even bigger struggle within the department. I’m wondering if they could possibly create some sort of community outreach to the public and try to target and recruit more women and people of other races.

    1. Hi Jordan! I completely understand and agree with you. I have a different take on this, what if female officers and non-white officers feel that it is not a safe place to work? Obviously the incredibly white demographic does not seem appealing for people from different races, and I do not blame the officers who would not feel comfortable working there. I could only imagine the amount of problems, close mindedness, and racism that someone who is put through working there. Considering the majority white police force, and the ratio to the diverse population, there is also a disconnect between the police and the community.

    2. Hello Jordan! I also completely agree with you and wanted to raise a similar but also different point! Another significant factor that could be contributing to the difficulty in recruiting non-whites and females to the New Jersey Police Department could be the historical legacy of systemic discrimination and mistrust. Law enforcement agencies, including police departments, have faced longstanding allegations of racial profiling, excessive use of force, and biased treatment, particularly towards minority communities. These instances of misconduct can lead to a deep-seated mistrust of law enforcement among marginalized groups. This historical context can make it challenging for the police department to attract individuals from non-white backgrounds, as potential recruits might be skeptical of joining an institution that they perceive as having been part of a problem. Similarly, women might be deterred from pursuing careers in law enforcement due to concerns about the prevalence of sexism and gender bias within the profession. Addressing this challenge requires not only recruiting efforts but also a concerted commitment to transparency, accountability, and reform. Police departments need to actively acknowledge the historical injustices and demonstrate a genuine commitment to change. This could involve implementing community policing initiatives, engaging in open dialogues with affected communities, and ensuring that officers undergo rigorous training that emphasizes unbiased and fair treatment of all individuals. By acknowledging and actively working to address the legacy of mistrust and discrimination, the New Jersey Police Department can take significant steps toward building a more diverse and representative force that truly serves and protects all members of the community.

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