NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Community activists in New Haven are calling for more diverse faces in the police rankings in the Elm City. Some leaders are alleging racial disparities in a recent lieutenants exam. We sat down with the city’s top cop to get some answers.
Tuesday morning, community activists came out with some scathing accusations against the New Haven Police Department that allegedly paints a picture that show an all-white passing class of recent lieutenants exams. But according to the chief and city officials, none of that is known information.
Acting Police Chief Renee Dominguez told News 8 21 eligible sergeants took the lieutenants test back in April, but the results have not been certified yet.
“We’re committed to a diverse police department,” she insists.
The process of the tests, Acting Chief Dominquez explained, was intentionally set up so inherent biases of exam panelists won’t skew the results of the exam. They contract an outside company to process the results.
“I wish I had a list to be able to give more feedback to it,” she said. “But we don’t even have the list yet, so once the list is out, we will be able to then move to make and recommend promotions…We know the importance and we strive to have a police department which is representative of the community in which we serve.”
Reverend Boise Kimber, the president of the Greater New Haven Clergy Association claims, based on anonymous sources, that a number of raw scores from the recent lieutenants’ exam showed an all-white passing class.
“It was brought to our attention about lieutenant’s exam. Raw scores that came out that were 14 whites that passed. No blacks or Hispanics that we know of,” he said.
The reverend expressed concern for the future of diversity at the police department.
“I am personally uncomfortable with the fact that if you are doing a promotion on the 23rd of June when the test comes out, then you’ll have three white captains, you’ll have nine white lieutenants. I hope it’s not but if it is, how is this city going to look?”
But the chief and other city officials tell News 8 those results that Kimber is referring to are unknown and have not been certified.
“The clergy today brought up a concern and I’m definitely going to look into that concern because we want to make sure that everything is equal for all of the candidates,” the chief said.
The city’s mayor also doubling down, standing with Chief Dominguez. He says both are committed to a fair process for all and that diversity remains a top priority for the city and police department.
“I don’t know how Mr. Kimber knows that information because no one knows that information. The list is not certified and so that information is not public and no one in the city knows that information…We’ve been working very hard to ensure that there is more diversity on the police force.”
The chief tells us there will be nine vacancies at the end of the month.