The New Jersey State Police has plans to introduce a new recruiting campaign this spring to attract new state troopers. The State Police, through its latest recruiting campaign, is expected to encourage minorities to join the force, including black women.
The State Police currently has 2,539 members; of those, only 8 are black female troopers. The State Police have said in the past that their efforts at attracting black women have not been very successful.
The Challenge: Exposing Minority Residents to Law Enforcement
Major Latrecia Little-Floyd, an African American chief of staff of the NJ State Police, said that the department has to find out what isn’t attractive about the State Police in the eyes of black females. As a result, members of the State Police and the State Attorney General’s Office have been traveling throughout the state and meeting with community leaders, elected officials, and other law enforcement agencies to propose career events that may expose minority residents to law enforcement.
Other previously held law enforcement career days in both northern and central New Jersey were successful at exposing members of the community to careers in the State Police. Members of the State Police note a lack of exposure to law enforcement in many New Jersey cities.
The Challenge: Encouraging Youths to Consider Careers in Law Enforcement
Encouraging young people to look at the possibilities of careers in law enforcement is essential to the success of career and recruitment drives by the State Police, particularly in cities where many youths do not have a positive view of the State Police.
Minority female officers are a priority for the State Police’s newest recruitment campaign as, throughout its history, the Agency has never had more than 13 female black troopers enlisted at one time. One of the challenges of the Agency’s recruitment efforts when attracting black female recruits is to educate them as to overcome their preconceptions about the job.
In addition to concentrating on black female recruits, the Agency is also focusing its efforts on female Hispanic troopers. There are currently just 8 female Hispanic troopers with the NJ State Police, compared to 109 white females.
Further, white males make up 80 percent of the agency (2,003), while there are just 282 male Hispanic troopers and just 159 black make troopers.