Why It’s Hard for Minorities to Become Cops

A wide range of the population seems to believe that the police force is largely unbalanced and requires recruiting more minorities. However, there have always been challenges to making this happen. We take a look at what seems to be the main problem or issue in bridging this gap that has stagnated over several years. Why are there so few minorities in the law enforcement agencies?

Representation in the population

Most people could argue that the proportion of minorities in police forces are equal or even exceed the proportion of those groups in the population. For example, the proportion of blacks in the country is about 14% while their representation in the police force is about 18%. From an equality point of view, it could be argued that the 18% of blacks in the police force far exceeds the proportion of blacks in the country and is thus more than fair. We cannot say whether or not this is a consideration that the hiring departments consider but perhaps, just perhaps this is one of the reasons.

Fear of racial profiling and other stereotypes

There is always a fear that if a person from a minority group is recruited into a police department composed largely of whites; they are going to be racist. On the other hand, if the same person were to be recruited into a pre-dominantly black police force, they would be crooked. These are views and perceptions that have been propagated to a great extent by the mainstream media. Such simple reasons could be keeping potential cops from minority groups from joining the police departments.

Inadequate educational backgrounds

It has been said that some requirements to join police departments in some cities are directly related to the level and quality of education that one received. While it may not have been designed to alienate minority groups, other dynamics within the requirements do exactly that. The financial status of most minority groups is way below that of whites. What this means is that most of these people from minority groups do not afford the top notch quality education accorded to the better endowed in society. This then goes on to cost these minority groups especially in terms of job openings in various places, companies and departments. Requirements such as minimum IQ levels could be locking out some people from potential positions in police departments.

Additional opportunities

Unlike earlier years, most minority groups now have access to more opportunities than they used to. This means that if they have even minor reservations regarding taking up jobs in the police department, they will hesitate to do so simply because there are now more options out there. In earlier days, despite the lesser openings for minorities in the police departments, a chance at one would have been taken more quickly than it would today for the simple reason that there were very few options available. Despite all these challenges however, most police departments in various cities are still intensifying efforts to include more minority group members into their workforce.

 

The 10 Most Underpaid Jobs in America

Majority of the workforce in most countries would claim to be underpaid if asked. There is a famous incident of a player who turned down a lucrative million-dollar offer claiming that he had a family to feed. Basically, means he felt that was an underpayment. However, we look at the most underpaid jobs in that those carrying out the tasks are well qualified to do so under the right conditions but receive less than they should be receiving as payment. We will use the American national median wage to take a brief look at the top 10 most underpaid jobs in America.

1.     Farm-worker

This is in the most basic sense the migrant out in the field in the least desirable weather because Americans will simply not take these jobs. There was a campaign by the farm workers union to get more Americans into these jobs which did not end up being successful. Most small farms are exempt from minimum wage laws and therefore almost always pay their workers below the minimum wage.

2.     Slaughter-house worker

Despite being a low-paying job, it is not one for the faint-hearted. A slaughter house worker is involved in what is termed as the most dangerous job in America with the ever close possibilities of injuries and stabbing with sharp objects. The stench and constant sight of blood also make this among the least-desirable jobs.

3.     Child care assistant

A child care worker basically spends their day dealing with children throwing tantrums, dirty diapers, cleaning up toys and incessantly crying children. However, despite all this, the job is still among the least paying with the median pay being around $ 9 per hour.

4.     Taxi driver

Taxi drivers operate in very unpredictable conditions and timelines. They carry packages and passengers from place to place even on very late hours. This is the job where more than thirty taxi drivers were killed in nine years between 2000 and 2009. At about 10.80$ per hour, it is not the least paying job but definitely among the most risky of them.

5.     Drug abuse counselor

Picture this; you deal with a customer base composed largely of people who come to you because a certain legal entity forced them to and not because they wanted to. You are also required to have a bachelor’s degree to practice as a substance ause counselor. However, despite all the tedious work involved, these social workers earn an average $38,120 per year, a relatively low figure and definitely among the ten least-paying jobs in America.

6.     Elementary teacher

You would think that those responsible for imparting knowledge into the minds of young Americans would at least be among the average income earners. Not the case. An elementary school teacher earns about $33,350 per year putting them right at the middle of the top ten least income-earners list.

7.     Medical emergency technician

At $30,360 per year, the emergency technician’s salary fails to reflect the responsibility carried out by these people. In most emergencies, the choices and decisions made by the emergency team often means the difference between death and survival. Their wage is however far from depicting that picture.

8.     Police officer

Well, this basically applies to rookies since the wage does get better with rank and experience. Rookies in the police department earn an average $30,000 per year despite this being among America’s most dangerous jobs. A large number of officers get killed or assaulted on their jobs.

9.     Medical intern

This is perhaps one you did not expect to find here. Medical interns are depicted especially in TV shows to be quite smart and seem to earn a lot. However, these earn an average $38,000 per year though the promise of better days ahead probably keeps most of them happy.

10.  Home care assistant

These health care aides look after ailing people in homes or home care centers. They also provide companionship and carry out all duties required to keep a sick person in good acceptable condition. For all this however, the health care aides earn a paltry 9.89$ per hour.

The American Media vs Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump has perhaps had the most hostile media coverage of any incoming American president. Maybe this was to be expected to some extent since this is Trump anyway. We take a look at five topics that have been the main warfronts between the Trump administration and American media.

Temporary Travel Ban

The president issued an executive order that temporarily banned immigration by citizens of seven countries (these have since reduced to six) into America. These were failed states or countries that provided refuge and support to Islamic terrorists. However, the major networks spent 223 minutes battling Trump on this issue with one anchor saying the order would create chaos and confusion. Like other hotly debated topics within the media, the temporary immigration ban was largely unbalanced ending up in a 93% negative outcome. NBC had a Syrian resident give their view on the executive order saying it was a nightmare.

Russia Election Tampering Claims

Coming in closely at 222 minutes of coverage was the Russian role in US elections. It has been alleged that Russia was involved in the hacking of Democratic Party emails with further claims that members of the current administration may have been involved in the scheme. Like the travel ban, this was largely negative with about 97% of the respondents involved criticizing the Trump administration for the act. This however had far fewer evaluative statements but the negativity and war between Trump and the media is still clearly visible in the outcome. There has generally been negative coverage of the president’s agenda, character, decisions and at times family.

Replacing ObamaCare

Even though this failed on a 55-45 senate vote, the media accorded it 152 minutes of coverage, ending up in a 94% negative spin for the topic on the evening news. There were 193 negative statements as compared to only 12 positive statements. This has been the Grand Old Party’s scheme to repeal and replace a bulk of what constitutes the ObamaCare with the view of replacing it with another healthcare law. All democrats in the senate voted against the amendments with the votes increased by the independent senators. This presented another challenge to the repeal effort. The amendment had been brought up by Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul.

Obama Wiretapping Claims

This was a claim famously made by Donald Trump on March 4 2017 that the Trump Tower building had been wiretapped by then president Barack Obama. Believe it or not, this gathered an astounding 97 minutes of news coverage on major TV networks. 99.5% of the statements were negative representing 189 negative statements. There was however a single supporter who seemed to think that Trump’s statements had some credibility. Most anchors went on to use this to brand Trump a liar and questioning whether the president had it in him to maintain the trust of the American people after what was seen largely as a false or rather ‘unproven claim’.

Well, it has only been a few months but there seems to be a brewing war between President Trump and the American Media.

10 Things you Should Know before Becoming a Cop in America

Becoming a police officer has some of its ups and downs and just like any other job, it is important to make some considerations before becoming one. These have to do with the job, the relationship with family, personal characters and attributes and the society. While not exhaustive, it is important to make these ten considerations.

  1. Can you survive on average wages? The police force is not the best-paying employer out there. Most rookies earn about $30,000 per year. This definitely ranks within the average if not low-income bracket. However, the experience will probably outweigh the monetary benefits but it is still important to take this into account.
  2. Can you communicate effectively? This basically means that you would have to possess abilities to clearly communicate well in spoken and written form. There are going to be hundreds of reports to write and at times court appearances. Communication will be very important.
  3. Can you work alone? Most of us have this perception of the police workplace as a place with many officers who chat all day. However, some smaller workplaces have very few officers and companionship in the workplace may not come easily. This may require you to work by yourself most of the time.
  4. How good is your work ethic? You will be legally armed and at most times you will be working with little or no supervision. Can you initiate something that goes beyond the minimum work standards expected of you? This will at times be necessary.
  5. Can you work nights, holidays and weekends? Maybe it never crossed your mind that cops actually do work on these days when the average American is not. This may also not be your call but that of your family. You might have to be absent when they need you to be present. This might not sound like much but most people are used to daytime work and small changes such as the period of work could make huge differences.
  6. Can you handle the discrimination? Most people do not exactly trust the police and don’t believe they have even the least niceness in them. While these beliefs are largely misguided, it doesn’t reduce the discriminatory looks you will be getting all day long. You will be paying for the sins committed by others and worse still perhaps a long time ago.
  7. Can you handle the worst in people? Let’s face it, most people you will be interacting with are going to be on the wrong side of the law. Can you be the face of law when those you deal with are no? These are going to vary from traffic offenders to gun-wielding criminals.
  8. Can you effectively exercise self-control? People are going to provoke you, a lot. Can you control yourself considering you will be in possession of a firearm? Can you keep your emotions in check even in situations where the average person would probably not?
  9. Can you relate to people at their level? You are going to come across a wide range of people each experiencing their own unique set of situations. Besides what is normally portrayed on television, can you effectively relate with a person at their level to understand at their level what they are experiencing?
  10. Do you believe in the law? This basically means you would be ready to enforce the law regardless of the consequences that your actions or decisions would have on the offender. Making these considerations and being honest and true to self, you will have almost all information you may need to gauge your readiness to being a cop. The rest will mostly be the requirements set by the recruiting agencies.

Looking forward to a career in law enforcement? The pointers above should help you prepare ahead and know what to expect!

10 Cities with Highest Rate of Crime Today

Statistics regarding the world’s most dangerous cities and countries are often quite controversial. Residents of some cities that rank very high on the crime list sometimes feel that there are elements of bias and that the picture painted by the researchers is quite different from what is the actual situation on the ground. However, this does not mean that all cities are equal, some actually record higher rates of crime than others. We look at 10 American Cities with the highest rates of crime today.

1.     Detroit

Most studies seem to agree that Detroit is the most crime-prone city in America. This is supported by statistics that show the city has a 1989 per 100,000 rate of crime. This includes assault and robbery. However, the city seems to be gradually redeeming itself with the current situation being better than what the city has recorded in more than 40 years. The crime rate is still however almost five times that of the overall country.

2.     Memphis

The city of Memphis was recently in the limelight when a police officer was shot on duty. The city ranks second in terms of crimes committed per year. With about 140 murders in the year 2014 and a crime rate of about 1,741 per 100,000 residents, this definitely seems unbiased.

3.     Oakland

Oakland had 80 recorded murders in the year 2014. The city also has a high 1,686 per 100,000 rate of violent crime. The city also happens to be in news over other news such as the NFL outfit Oakland Raiders. However, the third rank in the country’s most crim-prone cities has certainly been well-earned.

4.     St. Louis

St. Louis is perhaps better known for the Cardinals, a team which happens to be among the NFL’s most successful franchises. There is however a dark side to the city. The city had a 1,679 per 100,000 violent crime rate in 2014 putting it among the top most violent cities in America. The city is largely African-American.

5.     Birmingham

The city was in the news when a UPS employee committed suicide after committing the murder of two fellow employees. Within that year, the city had 52 murders and a crime rate of 1,588 per 100,000. This makes it the fifth most violent American city.

6.     Milwaukee

Milwaukee was reported by Forbes to have a violent crime rate of 1,477 per 100,000. There was once a piece that ran about the city titled why Milwaukee is the worst place to live for African Americans. The city has been known for its flat-out racism and other forms of segregation.

7.     Baltimore

With 211 murders in the year 2015 and a 1,339 per 100,000 violent crime rate, the city of Baltimore is definitely among America’s more violent cities. The city once had a state of emergency called when police officers were attacked by looters during a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray.

8.     Cleveland

Most cities in this list have been associated with a high-profile murder that received significant media attention in America and perhaps throughout the world. Cleveland is no exemption. The killing of Tamir Rice in 2014 caused much unrest in the city. Cleveland has a crime rate of about 1,335 per 100,000.

9.     Stockton

This is the second city in California to make the list. The city had 49 murders in the year 2014 and according to Forbes has a crime rate of 1,332 per 100,000. Its best known case was perhaps one involving a girl who escaped potential kidnappers and fled to safety.

10.  Indianapolis

It is known as a ‘quiet’ city. However, statistics show that much goes in beyond the city’s silence. More than 100 murders happened in the year 2014 and the city also has a relatively high crime rate of 1,225 per 100,000 according to Forbes.

Simple Strategies Police Departments Can Use to Increase Trust

Civilians in most countries do not trust the police force and have very little liking for them. This is perhaps due to the fact that it is the civilian who often has to prove they have dine no wrong other than the police officer proving a wrong has been committed. Police officers on the other hand have learnt to view most civilians as offenders. How can this situation change? How can police departments increase or rather recover the trust lost with the public?

Dealing with officers caught in crime

Most times police officers are usually caught doing what they should not be doing. This often ends up with a minor suspension of the officer but with all benefits. However, maybe it would be in the best interest of the public and the force to treat the officer like other criminals, no badge, benefits or any type of pay.

Evidence tampering

Most officers, by virtue of their rank and authority often tamper with evidence especially if it implicates them. An officer caught in any type of evidence-tampering should be duly charged under the laws. Most of these cases just get swept under the floor leaving the public feeling betrayed.

Malfeasance

Law enforcement officers often commit crimes simply because their position allows them to or rather allow them to avoid punishment. However, instead of being treated with leniency, police officers who commit crimes as a misuse of their authority should have their punishment doubled to ensure less betrayal of the public’s trust.

Dealing with brutality and excessive force

This is one topic we can possibly not get to the end of. Police brutality and unnecessary use of force dominate media channels all over the world. However, most times, this goes unpunished probably due to the bureaucracy in justice systems among other impediments. However, for the force to gain more trust with civilians, all cases of brutality, needless escalation, violence and excessive force should be treated as murder attempts and the involved officers charged with the laws governing such.

Detailed investigations

Most internal investigations often follow informal structures set up by fellow police officers in a certain department. These are usually cleverly designed to hide facts, cover up the truth or cause obstructions and impediments to investigations. However, all investigations should be carried out in a detailed and documented manner so that were other people to be brought in, they would easily catch up on the progress of the investigation. Offices who do not comply with such directives should end up under investigation to reveal their motives.

Handling retirements under investigation

An officer under investigation should not be allowed to retire. Retirement would be okay as long as it does not affect the direction of investigation. Basically, there should not be the often-seen situation where an investigation stops once the person charged leaves their position. If found guilty, a person who resigned a certain position should be sentenced just as they would have while in the position