A Hispanic police officers’ group is adding its voice to those demanding an independent probe into Boston police hiring and promotion of minorities, even as Mayor Martin J. Walsh is doubling down against calls by black city leaders for a review.
Jacobo Negron of the Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association said his group wants a role in an independent review.
“We would obtain a representative for this panel, so that it’s fair and equitable all across the table,” Negron said.
The Herald reported yesterday that key members of Boston’s black leadership want an independent review of BPD’s hiring and promotion practices after Herald articles this month showed a lack of diversity in the ranks and among superior officers. One Herald story highlighted the case of Sgt. Paul Joseph, a black sergeant the department passed over for promotion in favor of white officers with identical civil service exam scores.
Police declined to comment yesterday. Joseph said yesterday calls for an independent investigation would be a “step in the right direction.”
“An independent review would be fabulous. But it has to be independent, not a hand-picked evaluator from City Hall,” Joseph said.
“The mayor does not feel that a review of hiring practices is needed,” Walsh spokeswoman Laura Oggeri said in a statement. She added, “Commissioner (William B.) Evans is a fair and thoughtful leader who is focused on increasing diversity in the department through a number of strategic initiatives, including reinstating the cadet program. Additionally, the BPD’s command staff is the most diverse in its history. Commissioner Evans has made over 25 promotions to supervisor positions, over half of which are minority officers, including three minority captains who are commanding districts,” Oggeri said.
The city’s population is 53 percent minority but the 2,123-member force is 66.5 percent white, with 83 percent of the 380 sergeants, lieutenants and captains also white.