Gene Rodriguez, wishtv.com (Indianapolis), Oct. 25, 2006
Hiring practices for the new consolidated police department are in question. The union president wants an investigation while the chief is defending the process.
Fifty-five men and women want to patrol Indianapolis streets. They are the members of the first recruit class of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The class is scheduled to start training November 13th.
“We want a class that represents the community we serve,” said Chief Mike Spears.
The recruit class has 55 candidates. Of those, 33 are white males, 15 African American males, five white females, one African American female and one Hispanic candidate. The class exceeds the consent decree requirement of 20-25 percent African American.
The chief admits candidates for the second recruit class were considered for the first class.
“City legal said we were well within the law to do that, we reviewed it with the merit board, the merit board was given a presentation and voted to approve the process as well,” Chief Spears said.
FOP president Vince Huber alleges qualified white candidates were bumped in favor of minority candidates.
“And by doing so we think it creates a very adverse problem for candidates going through a process that is supposed to be color blind and the fact that it is not color blind and they are showing preferential treatment towards minority applicants,” Huber said.
“There were no white candidates who were not given a seat in class because a black candidate took their place. That’s just not true,” Chief Spears said.
The local branch of the NAACP supports the city’s current hiring practices, including the consent decree.