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Warren police Council members seek delay of exam



Published: Wed, January 4, 2012 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

Council members Cheryl Saffold and Helen Rucker will attend this morning’s Warren Civil Service Commission meeting to ask that a test for police officers be delayed to provide more time for minority and female candidates to be recruited.

The test is scheduled for Jan. 21 to provide the Warren Police Department with a new list to hire from as departmental vacancies arise. Three police officers are expected to retire this year, and there is no current list, Police Chief Tim Bowers said.

Saffold says the city has five minority police officers and four female officers out of 66, and she has been hearing that many of the minority officers are eligible to retire in the next couple of years. Saffold said she isn’t aware of any minority officers who will retire this year.

“In the near future, due to anticipated retirements, there may be only one African-American police officer in the city of Warren,” Saffold said in a press release.

The prospect of having so few minority police officers in a city such as Warren is troubling, Saffold said, especially considering the police department’s history regarding civil rights and minorities.

The city paid out-of-court settlements to at least five men who filed civil suits against the department starting in 2003 regarding strip searches by Warren police officers. The five who settled with the city were Adam Carson, LaShawn Ziegler, Dominic Gambone, Clarence Clay and Brandon Rogers, according to Vindicator files.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights conducted an investigation of the department in 2005 regarding strip-searches and excessive use of force.

In March 2006, the Justice Department ordered the department to ensure it was complying with its use-of-force policies, retrain officers on its body-cavity and strip-search policies, implement a better procedure for receiving and investigating citizen complaints, and improve community relations.

A police lieutenant was reprimanded in 2009 for calling two black men a racial epithet while off duty, and a patrolman was reprimanded in 2010 for violating the police department’s use-of-force policy by ordering brothers age 7, 9 and 10 to the ground at gunpoint in March 2009 in their backyard.

The officer suspected the boys, who were black, were committing a robbery.

“A minority officer might have handled that situation differently,” Saffold said.

The city has a minority population of 38 percent, Bowers said last week. The department’s percentage of minorities is 7.5 percent. Bowers said last week the only type of minority or female recruitment in place for the department is “word of mouth.”

Saffold said she’s willing to provide assistance with minority and female recruitment, such as advertising the test on local radio stations that have large minority audiences, at colleges, police academies and churches.


Comments

1southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh yes, by all means we must delay the test ..... minority and female candidates must be recruited. Whatever!

Suggest removal:

2jeratboy(127 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Everyone in Warren got a notice of the test with their water bill. It gave all of the information about qualificatons and dates to apply. It was a separate sheet of paper, everyone would have noticed it.

Suggest removal:

3MrRight(28 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

What happened to the best candidate for the job? Now we have to go recruit people to come work for us? What needs corrected is the council or have brought this up and calling it a problem. White, black, yellow, brown, red I don't care what color the person is coming to help me just as long as they know what they're doing!

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4db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

If minority applicants fail the test, it's the test's fault. If they don't take the test, we need to postpone the test until they show up. Why give minorities a test at all? Maybe only white people should have to show merit to get a job. Minorities should have everything given to them; apparently they cannot compete on an even playing field and need special treatment. Why should they get a job at all? We white folks pay taxes to provide a comfortable life for people who don't work. If our taxes fall short, we can continue to borrow money from China. Warren is no different than the rest of America who elected a black president that didn't have to prove his eligibility, was not qualified, and had no experience; and look at how great he's doing...

Suggest removal:

5watchingthepolitics(97 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Saffold says she is going to provide assistance with minority and female recruitment. Will the minority of middle age WHITE males be included in her plan. How about just selecting the MOST QUALIFIED.

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