Police Recruitment

November 15, 2005

By ART MARROQUIN, City News Service

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Police Department has relaxed its stringent guidelines on hiring recruits in hopes of bolstering the force, a city official confirmed today.

In August, Chief William Bratton said he wanted to ease restrictions on hiring recruits with bad credit and those who openly admitted to past drug use.

During his report to the Police Commission on the LAPD’s recruitment efforts, Raul Lemus of the city’s Personnel Department confirmed that authorities are now following Bratton’s instructions.

Lemus, who oversees background investigations in the Personnel Department, also told the commission that the department continues to have trouble recruiting women and blacks.

The Personnel Department is spending $2 million in advertising this year in an effort to recruit a diverse pool of LAPD candidates, according to William Scott DeYoung of the city’s Personnel Department. The department shelled out $1.5 million for LAPD recruitment advertising last year.

The LAPD will spend the money on billboards, the Internet, the radio and even niche markets to lure black, Latino, Asian and gay and lesbian recruits.

The LAPD’s force is 12.9 percent black, 36.4 percent Latino, 7.5 percent Asian and 43.2 percent white.

Nearly 19 percent of the LAPD’s staffers are female, but the LAPD does not keep statistics on the number of gay and lesbian workers.

Police Commission President John Mack told DeYoung that recruitment ads aimed at racial minorities should be revised.

“I listened to one of those ads, and it didn’t do anything to get my attention,” said Mack, former president of the Los Angeles Urban League.

DeYoung told Mack that he would discuss the matter with the advertising agency that handles the LAPD recruiting account.

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