With the controversy over this past week's tragic police shooting death of a mentally-ill Bronx woman and other cases around the country of African Americans killed by police, the NYPD is set to start a new recruitment campaign. NY1 Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger takes an exclusive look at how the city is gearing up to hire sensitive and caring officers.
Community, Compassion, Courageous — those are the qualities the NYPD says it is now looking for in future officers.
"And definitely a care for the community that you want to protect and serve," said NYPD Chief Kim Royster.
The police department's new recruitment ad campaign being unveiled this week and it is service oriented.
The department is pushing for diversity and sensitivity in officers, abandoning its action and military style recruitment drive. That change is meant to attract millennials between 18 to 34 years old.
"They have a different way of looking at things and we want to engage them," Chief Royster said.
And that means NYPD advertising heavily on social media, the subway and buses using the slogan: "It's you we want, bring who you are."
And the police department hopes to bring lots of potential cops into its new Candidate Assessment Center also being unveiled this week.
"It is a one stop shop, it is streamlined and it is a customer service friendly environment," Chief Royster said.
Potential recruits used to have to travel to different locations around the city to fill out applications, and take psychological and medical exams and wait years for a job.
The city is speeding up the process with the candidate assessment center, the location of the old police academy on East 20th Street in Manhattan.
In the past, there have been complaints from some people that the NYPD's hiring process favors some groups over others. The chief says the department is working very hard to make sure that is not happening.
"To be a police officer, you are going to go through a rigorous screening background, but we make sure that we look at our screening process to make sure that we are not doing anything that will be a disparate impact upon a certain demographic," Chief Royster said.
That as the NYPD says it is searching for the most diverse and caring officers it has ever had as part of a continued effort to strengthen police community relations in every neighborhood.