MORE POLICE DIVERSITY
In 1972, the Illinois State Police hired a young, black state trooper from Rockford to join the force in District 15. He returned to Rockford to patrol the tollway from Rockford to Chicago. Three years later, the state police selected this trooper to head their Office of Affirmative Action and head their statewide recruitment campaign. Under a reorganization plan in 1977, the trooper was named the Equal Employment Opportunity director for the Department of Law Enforcement.
From 1975 to 1989, the state police workforce changed from 1.9 black troopers to 27.7 minority and female troopers. During this same time frame, mayoral candidates from the city of Springfield promised to change the racial makeup of the Springfield Police Department. But, the minority participation in the police department has decreased since I became EEO director in 1977. Since serving as the EEO director for ISP, I served as chair of the Springfield Civil Service Commission, chair of the EEO Advisory Committee to the director of the Marshal Service, and the Justice Department published my now-famous article, “Strategies for Increasing Black Police Executives,” in the FBI Bulletin, May-June 1983.
When organizations want to attract and retain a diverse workforce they put an office of diversity in place, hire a competent and innovative administrator and change the necessary policies to remove barriers. Examples include the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School Office of Diversity, the University of Illinois Springfield Office of Diversity, the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Diversity, District 186’s minority recruiter and the Illinois State Police.
The elected officials of Springfield continue to demonstrate that they have no interest in attracting a diverse police workforce. My career is an illustration of what an African-American police officer can achieve in a supporting community environment.
Author, The President’s Men
Stopping Street Confrontation between Black youth and the Police
PBS WSEC TV to bring the production 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police to the big screen and its viewing audience./Lessons Learned from Ferguson—-all segments of community must be involved–
On Wednesday evening, September 30, WSEC/ PBS Springfield will be producing a program “LIVE on Tape” for broadcast in October. The audience will screen a 40-minute program entitled, “10 Rules for Dealing with the Police.” The LIVE audience will be able to ask questions of about 4 – 5 panelists during 4 different “breaks” after each segment of the program. This is to personally invite you to participate in this production. It is an effort to prevent Springfield, and quite frankly all of central and western Illinois to becoming the next Ferguson, Missouri. You are important in this effort.
We intend to start this program at 7 pm, with Mark McDonald of WSEC moderating the discussion. We ask that you arrive at the WSEC TV studio no later than 6:15 pm. Please RSVP to either Kayla Graven, our coordinator of memberships and community engagement, or me. If not by e-mail, you can call Kayla at 217.483.7887, ext. 224, or me at ext. 222.
For the September 30th production we intend to have no more than 25 – 35 in the audience. However, we also ask that you recruit about 6 members from your respective groups to participate in our second production on October 5th, same times, at the First Church of the Nazarine, located on the southeast side of Springfield off of Frontage Road, just north of where Doctor’s Hospital used to be. If you can provide us with 6 names of members from your group who will attend that event (also by invitation only), we will greatly appreciate it. We intend to seat approximately 100 people at the Church.