The number of Blacks in the New Jersey State Police Department could dwindle to levels not seen since the department was investigated for discriminatory hiring practices decades ago, a New Jersey newspaper reports.
Writes The Star-Ledger:
“When the New Jersey State Police’s first class of recruits in two years reports for training today, only five of 123 will be black, a striking failure in the division’s decade-long effort to achieve greater diversity.
Now the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which settled discrimination claims with the State Police in 2000 to force greater minority recruitment, says it will return to court to argue the state has given only lip service to the problem.
The NAACP’s vow of legal action reignites a contentious debate about why the State Police struggles to enlist new black troopers. While minorities like Hispanics have gained ground in the past 11 years, the percentage of black troopers has fallen from 8 percent to 6.4 percent, state figures show.
Attracting black recruits is a critical goal for the State Police as it moves past a history of racial profiling and discrimination lawsuits. As minority recruiting backed by millions of dollars continues to fall short, there’s a new round of finger-pointing.”
In the 2000 settlement with the NAACP, The State Police agreed to revamp its written test and suspend the four-year college degree requirement that could unequally eliminate minorities, the newspaper reports.