Report Recommendation 1.8
Pillar 1: Trust and Legitimacy
1.8 Report Recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should strive to create a workforce that contains a broad range of diversity including race, gender, language, life experience, and cultural background to improve understanding and effectiveness in dealing with all communities.
- On December 9, 1980, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana entered a Consent Decree with the City of Baton Rouge Police Department and Fire Department due to pattern-or-practice violations in the selection processes for hiring and promoting police officers and firefighters. The Baton Rouge Police Department presented substantial compliance with the objectives of the Decree. Specifically, the Baton Rouge Police Department adopted lawful police officer selection processes and improved the representation of African Americans, women, and other minorities significantly with respect to the relevant labor pools. The Baton Rouge Police Department petitioned the court, and on June 3, 2019, a United States District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana ordered that the Consent Decree be terminated. The BRPD continues to strive to become more reflective of the community it serves.
BRPD’s recruiting and training efforts to endeavor to prepare more than 50 law enforcement officers each year. Through partnerships with churches, non-profit organizations, universities, and neighborhoods, BRPD seeks to attract individuals from diverse backgrounds and inspire their interest in pursuing and achieving a meaningful and successful career in law enforcement. The BRPD values the role diversity plays not only from an external viewpoint but for its impact on making the department more open-minded and less resistant to change.
- Recognizing that a diverse workforce is critical to building and bolstering trust, the agency has initiated youth outreach initiatives and developed pre-Academy programs that are designed to advance cultural diversity.
- After a decades-long hiatus, BRPD recently re-launched its Explorers Post #225 program. The program is for students, ages 14-18. Explorers #225 gives participants a real look at a career as a first responder, with an emphasis on Law Enforcement as they rotate through each Division of BRPD. During the program, participants learn their rights, as well as the local and state laws of Louisiana. They are trained in First Aid and CPR and even have opportunities to ride with EMS on service calls. Participants acquire team-building skills. And most importantly, they grow in compassion for their fellow citizens through community service and volunteerism and form trusting relationships with police officers.
- Similarly, adults ages 18-21 can participate in BRPD’s Cadet program, whereby participants actually work full-time for the BRPD, shadowing police officers in every Division. Although Cadets must still complete the Department’s Training Academy to become sworn police officers, their years of service start accruing on their first day as Cadets. The Cadet program is meeting its objectives, encouraging young adults to pursue careers in law enforcement, and giving community members an upfront and personal view of BRPD.
- The BRPD continues its work with Human Resources to analyze both hiring and promotional testing practices to identify biases and deficiencies within the process that impact the success of diverse candidates. The agency has shown progress in this objective. In 2020 the police academy class was approximately 59% diverse at graduation, while the class of 2021 was 75% at graduation.
- Previously, BRPD’s Promotional Process was grounded in a Civil Service test and called for the top in seniority to automatically be promoted. Skills, knowledge, ability, prior discipline, and performance were not considered. The new policy allows the Chief of Police to consider the top five in seniority. The candidates are sent through an interview/assessment process where they are assessed based on career achievements and responses during the interview process. This ensures officers are rewarded based on personal qualities, leadership abilities,
- G.O. No. 149 Promotional System