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National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers Calls For National Search for Cranston Police Chief Position

Dated: Wednesday May 28, 2014

Having only recently been apprised of the current search for a new Chief of Police in the City of Cranston, RI, we are extremely concerned regarding its apparent lack of inclusiveness. While, based upon Mayor Fung’s record, it is unlikely that this was its intent, the current search parameters are such that the only possible candidates for this critical position will not include persons of color or females.

According to the most recent studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the predominant size of local law enforcement agencies nation-wide is less than 100 personnel, both sworn and non-sworn. As well, in the stated demographic area for this specific search (CT, RI, south-east MA), according to the client database of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, only 9 agencies matching the size of Cranston’s force appear to maintain CALEA accreditation. And, with the exception of Boston, no officers of color, and only 1 female for that matter, serve in any agency in those states above the rank of Lieutenant. Thus, the current search parameters for this position will be exclusively one-sided and devoid of any semblance of inclusiveness.

The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers has provided assistance to numerous agencies throughout the New England area to insure that their recruitment practices are both inclusive and transparent. And it is crucial that the search for an agency’s chief executive officer be no less.

We urge Mayor Fung to conduct a national search to fill this position, thus providing for a greater likelihood of inclusion of both candidates of color and females, as well as to insure that any committee reviewing candidate qualifications be inclusive of those who will be both implicitly and dynamically impacted by their service. It is only through these measures that the Cranston Police Department and the citizens it serves will be insured of a truly qualified pool of candidates for selection as its next police chief. They deserve no less.

The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.

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