The NAACP and law enforcement have had some high-profile differences in New York City in recent months.
But with the New York State Police force offering a test in October as it does every four years for men and women looking for careers in law enforcement, the state and the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP are teaming up to encourage minority participation.
“The Jamaica Branch is working with several fraternal police organizations to encourage members of our community to consider careers in law enforcement as a viable career option and a means of giving back to your community,” Leroy Gadsden, the chapter president, said.
“We believe that increased minority participation and involvement with law enforcement will bring about a greater level of sensitivity, respect and understanding of the minority community to the law enforcement community,” he added.
State Trooper Herrera, a recruitment officer, said diversity on the 4,600-member police force is as beneficial to the troopers and the organization as it is to the minority community.
“And New York City is the capital of diversity,” he said, explaining the state’s recruiting drive that will include a table on the evening of Sept. 5 at an NAACP job fair at the Queens Central Library on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica.
Plus, Gadsden and Herrera said the job offers full and continuous training, a very competitive salary and benefit package.
“You can support yourself and a family on a trooper’s salary,” Gadsden said.
Online applications are available at nytrooper.com, as is information on testing dates, the state police academy in Albany and requirements both to apply and to receive an appointment.
Herrera said those who pass the test go on a waiting list, and those on the list are contacted as vacancies open up.
One must be a citizen and a New York State resident with a valid driver’s license.
A high school or GED diploma is required to take the test, and an applicant must have at least 60 college credits by the time a job is offered. Those with two years of military service and an honorable discharge might qualify at 30 credits.
“But you don’t need the college credits to apply for the test,” Gadsden said. “Apply and you can start taking credits while you’re waiting for your name to come up on the list.”
Herrera said people who aren’t sure sometimes decide they want to proceed when their names come up, while others choose to turn the appointment down.
“People’s situations can change,” he said.
Gadsden reiterated that having the state police table at the NAACP’s coming job fair is nothing more than a part of its ongoing effort to connect members of the community with good, well-paying job and career opportunities.
“It doesn’t cost you anything to listen,” he said.
Herrera said the application fee is $20, but that it is cheaper than just about any other law enforcement agency in the area. All who are accepted must attend the academy for six months, during which time they can go home only on weekends.
All must pass physical, academic and psychological testing and a polygraph test; and have no felony record.