Last week at the Mt. Olive Baptists Church on East Delavan, Mayor Byron Brown and Police Commissioner, Dan Derenda, joined by the Erie Community College President, Jack Quinn, and members of the Buffalo Common Council, local state legislators and interfaith leaders, unveiled the Buffalo Police Department of 21st century (BPD21C).
Characterized as the first of its kind in the nation, this innovative Police Department program is designed to provide full scholarship to the Erie County Community College Central Police Services Law Enforcement Training Academy for the spring semester, beginning January 18th, 2016 for 50 successful candidates who will be selected. Mayor Byron believes that the initiative can be imitated by other cities in the effort to build a more diverse and inclusive police department.
“This value-driven program has the potential to become a national model for other municipalities to follow. We believe that the results of BDP21C will revolutionize community-based policing and we intend to utilize all of our resources to recruit and educate a diverse and talented group of future police officers who will reflect our city’s demographics,” the Mayor said.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Mayor Brown made the public realize the opportunity and priority the program offers to minorities and pointed out that having lived in the city for seven straight years and possessing a high school diploma, a GED, or its equivalence constitute the eligibility for joining the process. When asked by Karibu News how the city plans to handle the case of high school level immigrants and refugees who left behind them their academic credentials as they fled their countries, Mayor Brown said that nothing has been put in place to deal with such situations. However, he indicated that the recruiting process is exercised on a case by case basis and that some of those fox may be deemed credible following their performance during the interview process.
According to a number of academic researches, immigrants and refugees struggle to get government jobs in the U.S. Many observers believe that the BPD21C is a golden opportunity for Buffalo’s refugees to get government jobs through the police department.