History and Government Faculty Publications

Creating a Multicultural Law Enforcement Agency: An Intentional Priority

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

The Police Chief


Different viewpoints identify different reasons for actively and intentionally integrating minorities into the workforce. Some argue that diversity-promoting policies exist to remedy past wrongs of discrimination, attempt to overcome discrimination, and increase the representation of traditionally disadvantaged groups in more lucrative jobs and management positions. This perspective diminishes the inherent value of diversity, reducing it to a game of fairness. Others posit that employers should not focus on recruiting and hiring minorities specifically because employers should hire the best qualified candidates available without regard to cultural diversity. This stance implies that diversity is not an integral element of organizational excellence and assumes both that implicit biases of hiring personnel do not negatively impact diversity within an agency and that a lack of diversity does not negatively impact the community. Neither of these perspectives grasp the true importance and benefits of workplace diversity. Valuing diversity does not mean placing unqualified minority applicants in jobs; it merely recognizes that it might require proactive recruitment and selection to discover the many qualified minority potential applicants who exist. Although the need for diversity in the workplace is now widely recognized in organizations throughout the world, it is too often viewed only in terms of legal compliance in human rights protection. In reality, the implications of the diversity are much greater than mere compliance. With policies in place that encourage and manage diversity, law enforcement agencies can reap the many benefits of workplace diversity. However, if law enforcement agencies continue in their failure to achieve cultural diversity, both their effectiveness and community relations will continue to diminish. - See more at: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/creating-a-multicultural-law-enforcement-agency/#sthash.Y3og4oDB.dpuf


Police, law enforcement, multiculturalism