NYPD’s new recruitment campaign targets the LGBTQ community



By Brittany Kriegstein
New York Daily News

NEW YORK – Growing up in Queens as a member of the gay community, NYPD Sergeant Ana Arboleda has faced her fair share of hardships. It wasn’t until she joined the ministry’s cadet corps in 2007 and walked two years later that she finally felt accepted.

Now, sergeant. Arboleda is the agency’s LGBTQIA + liaison and is at the forefront of a larger effort to diversify the department.

An NYPD officer walks in a New York City pride parade.

An NYPD officer walks in a New York City pride parade. (Enid Alvarez)

With the registration of new hires underway, the NYPD will run ads for the first time featuring members who identify as gay.

“The way I see it, it’s just one piece of a bigger puzzle, which is just for the community to see that we want to be represented, we want to be like the community we serve. And it is found in all specters, ”Sgt. said Arboleda.

Captain Glorisel Lee, Commander of Recruitment, is leading the initiative, which will include a series of information sessions, job fairs and awareness around the corner. The exam fee of $ 40 will also be waived for the four weeks of registration.

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Like the sergeant. Arboleda, Captain Lee says she understands the difficult circumstances facing many young people across the city, especially in the underserved communities that this campaign will target. As a teenage mother who struggled to complete high school in her Sunset Park neighborhood, she points out that joining the NYPD can be a way out of vicious circles of poverty and lack of opportunity.

“There are so many young people in the city with similar stories that they are struggling, are stuck,” she said. “Everyone has a different obstacle… I’m just trying to tell them my story and tell them that you have a chance, you can do something on your own.”

The long-criticized diversity within the NYPD has grown in recent rounds of recruitment. Of those who signed up to take the police test in May, 70% identified themselves as minorities, 10% above the moving average of the previous four years, according to department data.

Out of 700 candidates hired in June 2021, 77% identified themselves as men and 23% identified as women. Hispanic applicants made up the majority of the new class, accounting for 35%, followed by 32% White, 16% Asians or Pacific Islanders, 16% Black.

While the NYPD website shows the force to be several percentage points away from the city’s diversity figures, department officials believe there is still work to be done to have a police force that reflects the people it serves.

As part of this new effort, the NYPD will begin publishing an additional set of recruiting statistics. In addition to the data available on race, the department will offer a breakdown of members’ sexual identity and orientation. They will be one of the first police departments in the country to do so and hope it motivates LGBTQIA + people to apply.

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“You have tangible measures,” said Captain Lee. “And if people can actually see the numbers, they will feel like they are joining a larger community.”

The NYPD has a busy history with the gay community. From the 1969 Stonewall Riots, where cops raided the Stonewall Inn and violently arrested gay, lesbian and transgender patrons to the police ban on Pride events for fear revelers would feel threatened.

“The NYPD has made a ton of gestures to suggest that they are inclusive. They’ve been at a ton of community events, they’ll be putting the inclusive flag on a lot of their advertising materials. Meanwhile, whenever there are acts of aggression within the NYPD, whenever there is a violent act of policing against queer communities and communities of color, they are historically silent, ”said Dan Dimant, media director for NYC Pride.

“Great strides have been made in the relationship between the NYPD and the community, and yet, at the same time, there is still this tension with aggressive police targeting minority communities,” Dimant said.

To those interested in joining the NYPD but who are skeptical of the department’s inclusiveness, the message is: New hires can make a difference.

“Our hope is that with more people coming out and more people who openly identify as LGBTQIA +, the experience and career progression of our employees will improve, and this will ultimately lead to better relationships with the community. community, ”said Brian Downey, president of the Gay Officers Action League.

“For me, visibility is important, it is crucial. The more diverse we are as a department, the better, ”said Sgt. Arboleda. “It’s just about being a true and authentic reflection of the community we serve. “

[NEXT: 5 takeaways for police recruiters from the ‘Who wants to be a cop?’ series]

© 2021 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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