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officers so that by 1987

9.5 percent of the work force will be black

officers. Interim goals are to fill at least 40 percent of all vacancies in the sworn entry positions with qualified black applicants until black officers

make up six percent of the sworn personnel, and then to fill one-third of all

entry level vacancies with qualified black applicants until the sworn work

force is eight percent black, and thereafter to fill 25 percent of all entry level positions with qualified black applicants until the long term goal is achieved. No goals were established for other minorities or women. 18

I.C. Plaza, chairperson of Nebraska's Mexican American Commission, and Joe

Ramirez, director of the Chicano Awareness Center, mentioned the consent

decree as a source of resentment in the Hispanic community. Both stated that

the decree benefited only black officers and that Hispanics still suffered from employment discrimination.19 University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)

Associate Professor Sam Walker commented that he believed the nonminority

officers also are resentful of the decree.


In commenting on the draft of

this report, Mr. Walker added that he believes that for many white officers

the consent decree was a "scapegoat" to vent their concern about the lack of opportunities for professional development, the lack of promotional opportunities, and their sense of alienation from the top command. In Mr. Walker's opinion, the city officials added to the problem by failing to

explain and defend the consent decree to the officers.


Regarding the consent decree, Gary Troutman, personnel director for the city, said he does not believe enough has been done to explain it to the police officers. He

believes that when the officers realize the police division will not suffer

because of the decree, the opposition will disappear


Promotions are an important part of affirmative action. The consent

decree touched briefly on the issue, providing: "For promotional sworn

positions in the Omaha Police Division, the interim goal shall be to appoint

qualified blacks in at least the proportion that these groups are represented in the classes of employees eligible for promotion."23

According to the Omaha police manual, captains must have seven years experience in police work, including two years as police lieutenants; while

lieutenants must have six years experience, including two years as police or detective sergeants.24 Sergeants are required to have four years of

experience as patrol officers. Years of police work in another city of

comparable size and population can be substituted for two years of the required experience for sergeants.


In addition to the requisite number of

years of experience, written and other examinations are a part of the promotion process. 26

In 1979 and 1980 five persons, all white males, were promoted to lieutenant. During the same period, ten persons, nine white males and one black male, were promoted to sergeant.


There were no promotions to captain during this time period. 28 As of June 1980, there were one black

lieutenant, two black sergeants and 20 black police officers in the division.

The city did not provide information on the seniority of the officers so it

was impossible for the Advisory Committee to determine how many,

if any,

minority officers were eligible to take the promotion examinations. Those who

were promoted to lieutenant during 1979-1980 averaged 17.25 years on the force while those promoted to sergeant averaged eight years.29

Current Recruitment and Selection Efforts

The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals

has suggested: "Every police agency seeking to employ qualified ethnic minority members should research, develop and implement specialized minority recruitment methods.130 Such efforts were mandated by the consent

decree. 31

Mr. Troutman stated that recruitment for the last few training classes was

a combined effort by police officers, the Interdenominational Ministerial

Alliance and the personnel department. Advertisements were placed in all the

media, job announcements were placed in neighborhood gathering places and

recruitment was done at the colleges. Mr. Troutman said recruitment at the

colleges was done while they were in session except for one class for which

32 recruitment was done during the summer. A list of recruitment sources

used for the September 1981 class shows 84 contacts ranging from out-of-State

universities and colleges to local minority organizations, church groups and

individuals. The NAACP, Urban League, Chicano Awareness Center, United

Indians of Nebraska and American Indian Center were on the list as was a

member of the Ministerial Alliance, although the organization itself was


Mr. Troutman also asserted that contact had been made with the

Midwest Guardians regarding recruitment although the president of that

34 organization, James Patterson, said he was never contacted. In commenting

on the draft, Mr. Troutman clarified this point by stating that a black

officer had been consulted regarding recruitment in October 1981 but the Midwest Guardians organization had not been contacted.35

Mr. Troutman stated that in 1979 there had been a strong recruitment

effort in which officers were assigned to do recruitment; but that this was

abandoned because then Chief Richard Andersen felt it was more critical to

have the officers on the street. Mr. Troutman stated he would like to have police officers made available to him for recruitment programs because they

can give a firsthand viewpoint on police work while his people give

information on city personnel regulations and benefits.

However, he stated

that he understands the division's reluctance to use officers this way while

it is understaffed. Currently, one person in the personnel department has

been responsible for recruitment for all city departments in addition to other responsibilities. Mr. Troutman hopes to use more personnel department staff

to do recruitment for the police division in the future.


He believes that

one of the problems the city has had with police recruitment is the "lack of credibility" the police division has in the minority community.37 At least

some citizens agree with him on that point, saying that the police division has an image problem which hinders recruitment in the minority community. 38

Members of the Midwest Guardians believe most recruitment in the black

community has been done by the black officers. They said no one is designated

to do recruitment and alleged that recruitment is done at the universities when the classes are not in session.39 1.C. Plaza and Joe Ramirez

maintained that there were no recruitment programs directed at Hispanics and

that recruitment in the Hispanic community was done by Hispanic officers on their own initiative.40 Mr. Troutman said that in 1981 recruitment contacts

were made with the Chicano Awareness Center, Amigos de See and G.I. Forum, all

Hispanic organizations. In addition there was an information booth at the

41 Cinco de Mayo celebration. Rita Garcia, director of the Indian-Chicano

Health Center, said she thought a good job of advertising had been done for

the September 1981 class. Ms. Garcia also said that she had tried to interest

some Hispanics in taking the written examination but had not been

successful. 42

The department did not meet the goals of the consent decree in its

December 1980 recruit class.

The class of 15 began with six black recruits

but one was dropped for academic reasons as was a white male, and a second

black recruit resigned, leaving the class only 33.3 percent black, instead of

the 40 percent mandated by the consent decree.


The department also experienced difficulty in meeting its target for the

second class following the decree. Initially, the World-Herald reported, 550

persons, 124 of whom were black, began the testing process.

But by June 1981

only 53 applicants were left, 10 black (18.9 percent).44

In an effort to

improve on this, the police division ordered all its officers to carry and

disseminate application forms. The World-Herald reported that Lt. Pitmon Foxall, the department's ranking black officer was assigned to head the

special effort that would make "each and every Omaha police officer" a recruiter of blacks.45 By August 1981, the World-Herald reported that the department had assembled a class of 33, of whom 12 were black (one fewer black

recruit than needed to meet the goal of 40 percent and eight fewer recruits of all races in the class than desired to meet department personnel needs).46

At the time of appointment, Sept. 1, 1981, the class had become 34 persons, of whom 14 were black (41 percent of the class).47 The city reported three other black applicants were offered appointments but declined to accept them.48

Selection devices for applicants to become police officers consist of a

written examination, physical agility test, polygraph examination, oral interviews, medical examination and psychological profile. 49

The written examination was mentioned by the city personnel director as

being a problem because it is multiple choice which does not give an accurate

assessment of recruits' reading and writing abilities.

In commenting on the

draft, Mr. Troutman said that applicants are not required to do any actual writing but grammar and spelling skills are tested. 50 Mr. Troutman has

ordered some of his staff to work with training personnel from the police

division to develop another test.

The new test should be ready for the

September 1982 recruit class. 51

The Omaha police division provided data to the Advisory Committee on

selection and hiring for classes begun Dec. 16, 1977; Aug. 7, 1978; Dec. 1,

1978; Sept. 1, 1981 and Dec. 16, 1981.

In the class of Dec. 16, 1977, 3.2

percent of white male, 1.6 percent of white female and 2.5 percent of black

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