Legal Permanent Residents as Peace Officers
By GALEO Student Intern, Andres Parra
*Peace officer: a civil officer appointed to preserve law and order, such as a sheriff or police officer.
When it comes to diversifying our police forces, we have made great progress. According to the Department of Justice the percentage of local police officers who were racial or ethnic minorities nearly doubled between 1987 and 2013 1. In fact, according to a New York Times article, of the largest police departments Atlanta had one of the smallest racial disparities in 2007 between its police department and its community2. All in all, a police force that looks like the community it serves is a good thing. It helps increase trust between the police force and the community. It also allows officers to overcome cultural barriers that may exist between them and residents in their jurisdictions. However, we still have a long way to go and nowhere is the cultural schism so great as between our police forces and immigrant communities. Allowing legal permanent residents to apply for these jobs could help minimize the cultural and linguistic barriers our officers face nationwide.Read more ...