NAACP: Hudson Valley police departments have a long way to go toward diversity

Since George Floyd's death one year ago, diversity in police departments has been under scrutiny across the country, with Rockland County being no exception.

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2021, 9:20 PM

Updated 1,117 days ago

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The NAACP says the diversity in Hudson Valley police departments has a long way to go.
Since George Floyd's death one year ago, diversity in police departments has been under scrutiny across the country, with Rockland County being no exception.
"If I had to rate it from poor, good or excellent, the majority would fall into poor," says NAACP Mid-Hudson, Westchester Regional Director Wilbur Aldridge.
Spring Valley is the most diverse: 40% of the department's officers are black or Hispanic, with those groups making up two-thirds of the town.
In Ramapo, 20% of the police force is Black and Hispanic. In Clarkstown, those groups represent 13% of the department.
"It has to go further than that simply because our communities are not isolated from any particular group," says Aldridge.
Aldridge says part of the issue is Black and Latinos avoid going into law enforcement or don't score high enough on the civil service exam.
This is why Rockland is stepping up recruitment. It went to local municipalities, police departments and even community leaders to attract a more diverse pool of people to take the test.
The county saw a 30% increase in its latest exam. There's no way to know the demographic turnout, but News 12 has learned that about 400 tests were taken in other languages.


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