To the right you’ll see a picture of one of our former officers, Darnell Blackburn. He is a fellow Spartan Criminal Justice grad (like me). He left us for a step up into a job with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). In his role at MCOLES he audits police academies around our region to assure you that the academies are complying with the standards for police set by the Commission. When you call the police and they arrive at your door at a critical time, you want to be assured that they know what to do from CPR to how to use force in an appropriate way that doesn’t create new and dangerous problems.
In his role he has a chance to see that the police academies are not as diverse in race, gender and ethnicity as they could be. He knows that police departments must hire from that pool of applicants and the result is that communities are not able to have as diverse of a police department as they need. So being a Sparty, he knows that we each need to take action, where we are, using the tools we have, to make positive change in the world. I’m with him all the way. So when he contacted us to tell us he is sponsoring a recruitment fair in Warren on October 2nd, we signed on right away. I also told him I’d help publicize through this blog and our other social media.
Given all we’ve seen in Ferguson, Missouri and other places around the country, we know that policing is important to communities–how it is done and by whom is of critical importance to the success of communities. Why is it important to be diverse? Because the communities are diverse. Having a diverse police force that reflects a diverse set of life histories and can share the viewpoint of the people they serve is important. There is also research that shows that diverse workforces are less likely to have behavioral and corruption problems and higher community confidence. High quality police establish safety and security in a community– the environment where the local economy can flourish.
Here is a poster for the event. I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll achieve his goal and have a good turn out. I value his efforts to make positive change in the world. By the way he is an inspiring speaker, if you need someone at your event.