Philadelphia Police happy with budget, not recruitment

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 Polie Commissioner Ramsey (Center) flanked by deputies as he talks to City Council (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Polie Commissioner Ramsey (Center) flanked by deputies as he talks to City Council (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council’s budget hearings are usually a parade of people looking for more money.  The hearings had one surprise.

“We’re happy with our budget,” is the way Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey started his testimony.Ramsey says they are having problems recruiting new officers, especially minorities.”We’ve had an increase in African-American females, an increase in Hispanics that have come on, but the African-American males we went from 16 percent to 9.3 [percent] we have to nip that in the bud so that our numbers can remain at an acceptable level,” he said.The commissioner says there are even some recruits that survive the orientation process but flunk their physical or their reading comprehension test, or their polygraph.The city had raised the police hiring age to 21, but changed it back to 19 because people couldn’t wait to join the force, but Ramsey says that has not fixed the problem when it comes to minority recruitment.

 

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