N.J. moves to recruit more African-Americans for state police

The New Jersey attorney general’s office is outlining some steps to recruit more American-Americans to the state police force. It will consider recently laid off municipal police officers for priority consideration in future recruit classes.

That’s welcome news to David Rose, a lawyer for the NAACP.

“There’s likely to be a lot of high-quality people who just aren’t working now. Some of them are we believe African-Americans and probably a significant percentage,” Rose said. “This would help put them back to work but also help the state police integrate its work force more fully.”

Rose said the NAACP wants the state to spend more money on advertising to recruit African Americans as required by a decade-old consent degree.

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A spokesman for Attorney General Paula Dow said additional funding will be requested, but the likelihood of getting it is not great because of the state’s budget crisis.

“We would to be like a major ad sponsor like Coca-Cola and run a major advertising campaign, but during a budget crisis we have to face reality,” said spokesman Paul Loriquet.

The NAACP wants a date set for the next class of recruits so there’s plenty of time to recruit in the African-American community. Loriquet said the state budget dictates when the next class can be held.

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