National Black Police Association, Officer, National Black Police Officers discussed on Capt. Hunter's Podcast
Investigative sergeant in a supervisor of the School Resource Program in Twenty Nineteen. Pruitt was promoted to captain. She currently serves as a deputy. Commander Supervising Calls for service. Countywide PRUITT is a past president of the coalition of black police officers among only Maryland. In since two thousand eighteen has serves as the chairperson of the National Black Police Association chills. Bs In criminal justice from University of Maryland University College and an Ma in front of psychology from argosy university. She's an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice Administration at the Montgomery College and teaches courses including introduction to policing criminal investigation in Police Organization and administration. She's also a member of law enforcement action partnership otherwise known as leap as well as myself so without further. Doing Ladies Gentlemen we are going to be discussing the importance of diversity within police department so I. WanNa thank once again my special guest Captain Sonia Pruitt to Captain Hunters podcast. Here is the interview all right so once again. We're talking to Captain Sonia Pruitt and thank you so much for being on Captain Hunters podcast. Thanks for inviting me. Your member of Law Enforcement Action Partnership as M. I in so just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for that organization just yourself in general okay Well I I call myself a transplant from north. Carolina ended up in the Washington metropolitan area as a student at how university Undergrad In nineteen eighty one. I've been here for a while now and I feel like I'm a a member of DMV as we call it the district Maryland. Virginia Became a police officer after deciding that being a doctor was not for me. I knew I was NOCCO. Stay up all night long doing any kind of internship or residency or anything like that. So they're not because I'm a science geek. I tried to go into Research so worked at the National Institutes of helpful. I don't like the repetitiveness of research This is no not for me so I became a police officer because as I was working for the US Postal Service Inspection Service. Which is their law. Enforcement Ranch I decided I wanted to go into law enforcement so I became a police officer as a yeah could be outside like being outside. I like being around people. This'll be fun and exciting. I did not know what I was getting myself into. Actually but I was ready for it. So that's how I became a police officer. I've been a police officer for twenty seven years. I'm currently a captain in charge of community engagement for the Montgomery County Police Department and I am also the chair woman The National Black Police Association and I got my my hat and various other incendiary rings of law enforcement and speaking and things like that. Very good awesome. Awesome my cousin. A currently works for the inspectional services. I'm hoping saying that right for the post office. He works service. He'd probably kill me tells me so many times but he actually is Located in Tampa Florida. So he's got a actually fairly wide range of territories. He's gotTa deal. With as far as his responsibilities e e installs Even saying he's installs a security surveillance equipment. Try to catch the postal workers. Stealing or yeah. Yeah yeah he's got some really cool guests. Can I wanted to have you on because I had a previous conversation with another person Leader of a black national black police officers of Association of America and So I wanted to have you on to talk about the importance of black police officers. And you know we're having a problem right now with the recruitment overawe police officer people do not want to be companies. Police officers overall but particularly. It's it's problematic within the black community. I want to have you on his to kind of talk about that and what we can do to fix this problem. Are you seeing A problem with getting more young people or more people particularly people colored black people to become police officer I'm not sure whether that is that. An urban legend or not Let me tell you why so in my career. I have worked in background investigation and we did. We were having that same dialogue always so hard to find particularly black people to become the police but I contend that there are plenty of black applicants out there. You just have to hire them. You cannot Find excuses not to hire them because of your implicit biases or your Your your overt biases. You cannot put them into a are you you. Can't you can't measure them by measurements? That are not the same measurements that you measure all the Atkins by meaning once they pass the basic parameters you don't get to add extra parameters for and I'm going to use this as a as a true example once you pass the parameters you can't say well they well. They have to have a bachelor's degree which they have but they didn't pass a class when they were in Undergrad. There's no such parameter. They have a bachelor's degree which is what the with the parameter is so I have seen that happen and you know question that and you know I had argued about it and that person was not hired so I'm going to say that if you're not doing everything you can to diversify your police department in a fair and impartial way that I'm going to throw out the window. That argument there are not enough Black Africans not enough women applicants not enough. Latino applicant is whatever the you know the category is. I'm going to say unless you're doing. They're fairly at across the board. And then I'm going to also add if you going out of your way to bypass the parameters in order to get certain hype of applicant or a certain category. Then you're not. You're still not playing fairly okay. So I am not clear Sir. Captain that that is really an issue. I think Anecdotally that it doesn't excuse because what I see is okay the black community. They have an issue with us so we can always say that they don't want to become the please I'm just not. I'm not convinced that when we had a black cat who was the director of our Personnel Division for instance with my police department. We didn't seem to have that issue. You one has to wonder what the issues really are. Okay that's that's a very fair very fair point. I too But I here's here's Mike attention and I too was a member of our background team in on all that kind of stuff recruit team and so. I went to colleges the schools Two Barber shops churches etc tried to get many applicants to sign up and many You know when you go to colleges we were heading You know some universities here in You Know Yukon Wiscon- Western Connecticut State University and other other schools. Rama stated Connecticut and even our home city and the people that were taking. The applications are showed some type of interest generally were white and many black applicants or or potential black applicants. Were would tell us straight out that they weren't interested in Assam down that saying that any didn't but those who dead Show some interest. Obviously you know they. They came on the Chicago Tribune. Awhile ago maybe I read. This article may be back in October or so September October. They did a really good article. I I can send it to if I can find it and it was talking about this whole problem that they were having in Chicago with all the problems. That Chicago Police Department has and they want more black people To to apply in their head of their personnel division for the city now as the police officers but for the city was talking about. How come there were no Not Enough Black applicants and one of the things that the that the personnel director was talking about was was similar to what you were just mentioning about about Going through with with this selection process many people are being weeded out for silly things that others others were not being weeded out as on on. And she was saying that. There's the legacy groups particularly Latino legacy groups right so so we have you. You remember the National Black Police Officers Association right so their legacy groups so a Latino groups Were actually staying with their applicants throughout the process right. So they're helping them back. Prepare for the physical prepare for the written. Prepare oral. And that was the difference. In why the Latino Applicants were doing better on the test whereas black people black officers or black applicants were taking a test and then that was it next time you see them was for their physical prison for the physical portion and they couldn't pass it will one of the reasons is obviously because you groups were not doing enough to make sure that they passed it so that was one of the critiques that the Personnel Director Had. I'd seen know and I liked the idea of Following the applicants so when I first apply My blue background. She was my and not in the background investigator Recruiter I missed my first test. I exit show up. I'll be lazy. You know that happens a lot with the cruise black white brown. You know because we are young and we're not Dedicated yet and and you know we're young. So she called me and she said. I'm a need you to come to this test and I said yes Ma'am I showed up so when I was in background I I remember having a conversation with one of the The executive that was there at the time and I said hey you know I had this idea. Why don't we make sure that we follow up with our African because we're having a problem with adversity A problem there's somebody says they have not sure really had one but anyway. Why don't we call advocate? Who we think things not to want to come and take the test to make sure they come in and take the test and she said well. We can't do that and I said why not. She said because that's against federal loss will turn we tell me see that we can understand it. Can we find that in the federal wreck so that we can read it and she never answered because there is no such thing so I suggested then because I got the impression that she was still some kind of way about calling black Africans? Why don't we just call? The Africans have to just call the black Africa's we can call them all and make sure that you know. They know that they need to come and take the test because they are most of them are young and we probably need to give them a little nudge ono that we can't do that. That's the guest federal rigs. That was like okay. So it's it's stuff like that they keep us from being able to hire qualified Women and Black and Latino Asian and so forth advocate in my opinion so my small vantage point and I and I take that unaccept- that I think that that's I think that what you're saying is absolutely valid and I and I'm not pushing back against that I'm trying to add to it and say that It is a it is a problem we do need to. Give people a nudge and we also have noticed. Where as you mentioned as you sat in your I out so meetings. Whatever and talked about okay. Wh why are we mountains personally because when they were? Fourteen smoke weed. Wh what are we talking about here So why are we? Why are we doing that? And we we had to have the same conversations with. Wait a minute okay. This guy got a ticket when he was eighteen. These these thirty three. Now what are you talking about? You know so so. Sometimes I think that the that the rules if not a fairly across the board can bounce people who could be potentially good applicants. I completely agree with that. So just tell us a little bit about The Organization the National Black Police Officers. Tell us a little about them. And what you do and as you are the chair woman and what. Your responsibilities.