Mayor 'disturbed' by lack of diversity in CPD command staff

Published: Jun. 8, 2015 at 11:44 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2015 at 2:49 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Mayor John Cranley and the Sentinel Police Association want to change testing procedures used to determine promotions in the city's police department.

"Mayor Cranley is disturbed by the lack of diversity in the police department's command staff," reads a prepared statement from the mayor's office. "Of the three assistant chiefs, none are African-American; and of the 12 police captains, only one is African-American."

U.S. Census statistics indicate the city of Cincinnati's population is 49.3 percent Caucasian and 44.8 percent African-American, the statement reads.

A police department should reflect the city it serves to effectively police the community and to develop a good relationship with residents.

"We clearly need some diversity in our command staff to foster trust and cooperation with the community," Cranley said. "For years, the Sentinels have said the way we test and grade the examination process for promotions is unfair."

An upcoming vacancy in the captains' ranks will create an opportunity to add diversity in the command staff of the police department. Last week, Assistant Chief Paul Humphries announced he is leaving later this month for an out-of-state job.

".... not only will an assistant chief's position be filled due to a retirement, but presumably a captain's position will be vacated if a captain is promoted to assistant chief," the mayor's statement reads.

The Sentinels say they believe the lack of diversity stems from promotional tests that were written and graded by the command staff. They are calling for a fair test that is "double blind" – written and graded by outsiders, and graded anonymously.

Cranley agrees and asked city officials a few months ago to begin implementing the change.

"We just want a fair testing system. We believe that if we have a fair testing system, it will lead to greater diversity," Mayor John Cranley said on Monday.

City Manager Harry Black – who is not related to the Sentinel president – is in the process of making changes to the promotional exam process. The new procedures will be used in the next round of captain's exams that will be administered soon.

"I want to thank the administration for listening to the Sentinels and me to develop a fairer method of testing," Cranley said.

Cranley wants the city manager and Human Resources Director Georgetta Kelly to meet with the Sentinel's president again to discuss the new process and ensure the Sentinels' concerns are being adequately addressed.

"We have an opportunity right now with executive chief Humphries giving his two week notice to fill that assistant chief spot with a qualified African American," said Sentinel Police Association President Phill Black on Monday.

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