Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is heading for the governor’s seat but has yet to keep a promise in his city despite the hiring of a black Police Chief.
Reports from Newstimes confirms the pledge Danbury gave has not been met when it comes to diversity in the police force. According to their reports, 14 officers are Hispanic, three are black (including Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour) and two are Asian. That makes 12% of the police department minorities. This seem awkward when 47% of the Danbury population is minorities.
Newstimes mentions a lawsuit against the police department in early 1990s when two black cops claimed they were discriminated. When the case was settled in 1994, the city agreed to hire more people of color but has failed.
Boughton told Newstimes they’ve been trying to bring minorities, “We certainly haven’t given up on it, but I think it’s fair to say that our HR department and both Chiefs Ridenhour and Baker, when he was here, have been frustrated.”
Charles Wilson, chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, claims that their strategy on getting black men to become cops isn’t flattering.
“If you send a recruitment team of all white officers into a black community, you aren’t going to get anyone,” said Wilson.
The rules of recruiting seems to be an issue as well claims the city of Danbury.
“There are clearly barriers that are present for minority applicants and aren’t present as often for white applicants, and we haven’t done anything to address that,” says Central Connecticut State University researcher Ken Barone. Some of the rules are about criminal past including low-level misdemeanors.
Eight officers have been picked by Danbury this year and none are Hispanic or black.