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WARREN Few blacks, women take civil service test



Published: Fri, April 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Of the 120 applicants for the police test, 11 were black.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- None of the three police officers to be sworn in this morning are black or female, but the city's service-safety director says officials are stepping up recruitment efforts for both.

Of the 120 applicants to take the latest civil service test to become a police officer, 11 were black.

Of those, four passed the written portion of the test and one passed the physical portion, said Fred Harris.

That last individual's name was placed on the list, but the combined scores from the written and physical tests didn't place him high enough on the test to be interviewed in the first round.

Harris didn't have the numbers for women who applied for the test.

Disappointed: Thomas Conley, president and CEO of the Warren-Trumbull Urban League, said he is disappointed more blacks didn't seek the positions.

"I wish I had an idea as to why. I really don't," he said.

Harris said he's heard from some residents, asking about the lack of blacks and women in the police and fire departments.

Harris said the city intends to hire 24 police officers it committed to adding this year and next year when voters passed the 0.5 percent income tax increase last May, but it's not a quick process.

Besides the civil service test, which is scheduled by the Warren Civil Service Commission, waiting for the written and physical scores and interviewing those achieving the highest combined scores, candidates also must undergo polygraph tests, background checks and psychological testing.

"It takes a lot of time to hire one person," Harris said.

The city is working to attract women and minorities to the law enforcement ranks. The equal opportunity coordinator has proposed a plan to increase minority applicants to the police department.

"We've been actively recruiting minorities, but from the surrounding areas," Harris said.

Recruiting proposal: A police recruitment team has been proposed to travel and find quality police officer candidates statewide and at regional career fairs.

Harris said the efforts will include working with the Black Knights, a national organization of black police officers, to include Warren in their notices for police openings.

Conley said he'd be involved in the recruitment process.

dick@vindy.com




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