The secondary headline in the Dec. 13 paper was “Sheriff, police prohibit profiling.” This is not a headline that will satisfy any concerns from the minority populations in the city. It is similar to the famous, “Go and sin no more.”
A headline that would more likely satisfy the minority community would be, “City announces that the percentage of Hispanic and African-American police officers will increase to match the city population.”
The lead paragraph could read, “Interim Police Chief Carol Martin announces that the City Council directed her to make the Gainesville Police Department racial makeup match the Census of the city. This means that the percentage of Hispanic officers will go from 2 percent to 41 percent and the percentage of African-American officers will go from 5 percent to 15 percent.
“Since this change will need to be made without disrupting the current police force, no current police officers will be fired. When this change is completed. the Gainesville Police force will increase from 94 to approximately 220 sworn officers. This increase will require that the department budget will need to increase by about $7.5 million per year, which will be easily covered by an increase in property taxes. This increase was unanimously supported by the city council.”
This headline and story is not likely to happen, but this is the Christmas season and anyone can dream.
Howard A. Stacy