On Monday, NY1 reported exclusively that the number of black men who are police officers in the city is declining. In part two of his series, Dean Meminger goes inside the numbers.
So why aren't more black men becoming police officers? There are multiple reasons, from the screening process to the applicants themselves.
Over the last three years, roughly 150,000 men passed the written exam to be a police officer. Sixteen percent of those men were black.
Many, though, did not make it to the next step. Of the men who were selected for the police academy, just 9 percent were black.
Michael Julian, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of personnel, said many blacks who fill out the lengthy police application after the test fail to follow up and take the medical exam.
"The rate of male blacks not appearing for that examination is higher than the other races. They just don't appear," Julian said. "So we haven't knocked them out. They just don't show up."
However, police insiders said a disproportionate percentage of black men are knocked out through background checks. They said examinations of credit scores, family history and where a person lives are subjective and often negatively impact black men.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said his application was allowed to expire when he was screened to be a police officer.
"I actually died on the list, and the Guardians Association sued and saw that blacks and Hispanics were placed at the rear of the list and they were dying on lists. and the court forced them to reinstate the list," Adams said.
There is concern from some police insiders that young black men are being knocked out of the process unfairly if they've had any contact on social media with people who have been arrested.
Former Deputy Police Commissioner Wilbur Chapman said the process isn't always fair but that blacks cannot just complain about it.
"If you feel that you've been dealt with unjustly, and this is your burning desire, to be a police officer, then you fight with all of the resources available to you to obtain that goal," Chapman said. "But by the same token, if you've had a problematic background, you can't expect people to excuse you."
The head of personnel agreed but said he will work with all communities to boost the number of blacks and other races who want to become police officers.
On Wednesday, NY1 will look at the efforts the NYPD is working to put in place to attract more qualified black men and to make sure they get over any hurdles in becoming a member of the finest.