Racial Discrimination and NJ State Troopers

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This paper examines inequalities within the divisions of the New Jersey State Troopers and how they impact them as a team. It assembles data from different outlets to demonstrate that there are inequalities within the organization and how they influence both the organization and the community it represents. The paper gathers relevant knowledge in order to bring to light established examples of inequalities between the organization and culture, as well as the organization itself, by which an appraisal can be made on how it has influenced its functioning and openness. It will examine how differences exist in different divisions of the company and how this has impacted their effectiveness. New Jersey is one of the states in America having more than 50 cities. Looking at the population of the state, there are those states with over 100,000 blacks living (Sergio, 2015).

Inequalities in Hiring Process

However, the percentage of blacks hired within these states into the police is way below par. Also, in the state of Newark where exactly half the population is black, only about 26 percent of that population serves in the police force for that race. It is from such evidence that recruitment programs clearly show there is a level of discrimination along racial lines with regards to hiring. This has led to disrespect of the police force and thus increase of crime in New Jersey. After the shooting incidents, notably, Ferguson, Missouri, there were increased protests after there was no action then taken for the fatal shooting and death of a one Michael Brown who was a suspect to attacking a police officer in uniform. This increased violence and protests across New Jersey and loss of confidence in the law keeping agencies by the public. These gaps are even wider for larger populations and it is clear that there is a high level of racial disparities during the hiring process. This destroys the level of trust within the force as it becomes increasingly difficult to lead a mass of people when their leaders are looked at as outsiders. These disparities range from race, gender, ethnic background, to mention but a few.

Disparities in Race and Sex within the State Troopers

In the New Jersey State Troopers, statistics have been carried out and disparities have been notable in various avenues. In the investigation report of 2003, disparities in race and sex were recorded in the hiring process. According to race, it has been noticed that there are more whites appointed to duty as compared to other races. Even in states that are more populated with other races other than white, the State Troopers has a higher percentage with white as the majority in service. As such, this affects the quality of service of the organization. Even worse, the people served are continually biased and lose the respect they have for those in service for the state. It is notated that there is a significant level of profiling in the traffic department. Because those in uniform are mainly of a particular race, there is a lot of profiling done especially by traffic officers. It was observed that most traffic searches and stops are done to Latin and African origin citizens. In that case, there is bias that has been created amongst various people in New Jersey.

Discrimination and Harassment

Also, due to this discrimination within the State troopers, it leads to harassment. Kimberly Zollitsch who graduated in July 1988 from the State Police Academy filed a complaint about being discriminated against in Port Norris 1989. She was being called by various names in the stations she was assigned to. This included derogatory pictures and poems that focused on her weight, sexual orientation and her service to the police force. This psychologically affected her ability to perform to her best of expectations.

Trooper John Oliva was harassed for his views against racial profiling. This shows there was reasonable injustice within the police department as he believed these threats were made by the Lords of Discipline. As such, with the vandalism of his things and constant threat, Oliva lived in fear and in October 2002, he committed suicide. He opposed the idea of orchestrated road stops to particular ethnic groups. Oliva committing suicide was due to frustration, fear and emotional distress. From these two studies, it is observed that disparities within New Jersey State Troopers had adverse effects on the victims and the society as well. In the aftermath of these events, there was only increased fear instilled among those who followed suite a similar path like the victims.

Effects of Disparities

This reduces the level of confidence and trust in the department by the society as it is not exemplary to what is supposed to be done. Racial disparities within New Jersey State Troopers reduces the opportunity to have a leveled and well balanced number of workers within the task force and thus creating a gap between the races themselves within the area. Those who are looked at as the superior are significantly protected if their own run superior positions of authority. It limits for the ability to have a united group of people for as long as there is a sense of division. Therefore, within the task force as well, the minorities are pressed hard to also leave their line of duty with fear of being called disloyal to the general public. Simply put, there is constant fear and separation amongst these people.

Ways to Address Disparities

Claims of informal groups like Lords of Discipline are formed due to these disparities that impart fear and discomfort to those who are not of the required or expected race. This forces many more troopers to quit their jobs or take up drastic measures to the threats they face. Psychological effects are experienced by those who are attacked and this disrupts not only their health but also their way of life.

Even those within the force that are minority may hold positions of low authority. To emphasize this, their level of promotion for blacks, Asian-Americans or Hispanics is low. This therefore means the recruitment procedures are also heavily biased and do not follow the set regulations.

Disparity with regards to sex also exists among the New Jersey State Troopers. This is not only discomforting to the minority group, it also is an abuse to the fundamental human rights of the citizens. When hiring is biased to one side of the coin, it creates a wide gap between these parties working together and therefore an unfriendly atmosphere. Even worse, with the existence of such disparities, those discriminated against do not serve to the best of their ability. It thus becomes an inconvenience to the society as well bringing forth a substandard service.

Also, to the heads like the attorney general, sheriff and other major heads within the force, disparities bring to question their service to the community. It creates doubt over the ability to lead effectively. It puts into question their role to handle matters of conflict and their ability to create a united community in the fight against crime. Disparities increase crime within a community as those out of the spotlight commit crime knowing they are protected. It gives them cover as they are not seen as probable suspects to crime. Sometimes, even when discovered, because of the tagging done to a particular group of people, they often walk scotch-free. As such, there is increased level of crime in the long run.

Disparities also create an economic gap as jobs will be given to a particular group of people. This creates a wide range of unemployment for one group discriminated against as compared to the other. There should be different ways the gaps caused by these disparities are reduced to create harmony within the force. This can be done through increasing the percentage of minorities that graduate into the organization. This reduces the discrimination gap and therefore improves relations within the organization and variations in race and sex.

Promoting more minorities within the organization reduces power struggles. This also creates reasonable amount of control from all branches, the majority and minority. Even in special units, there should be an increase in hiring of minority groups so as to elevate their status and numbers into the force. Most minority groups leave the training program midway because some tests are geared to eliminate a particular minority. There should be revision of these procedures as they directly affect who manages to get into service. The present screening methods bias the outcome of the entire recruitment process and therefore yield to hiring only one side of the population leaving the minority out-numbered even in the line of service.

An end to racial profiling stops should be taken into consideration. Law enforcement professional’s agencies should use their professional intelligence as opposed to racial profiling while on duty. This will slowly but steadily restore the level of confidence the people have in the enforcement organizations as opposed to the present trend being followed. In addition, passing an act that emphasizes a rigorous study into the data collected from traffic stops; including the race of the suspect. Also, legislation on traffic stops that control the circumstances under which stops are to be done and prevent the use of the fourth amendment rights in unfamiliar or misinterpreted circumstances that harbor profiling within the force.

Raising awareness of bias among police leaders and officers creates a given state of urgency to end discrimination or bias with regards to hiring, promoting or firing employees within the force. It also protects the rights. Also, policies that limit the impact of bias can be taken on. This in a way limits the aftermath of bias in extreme cases. Hiring of more female officers to limit the extent to which discrimination by sex occurs. Female officers will curb counts of harassment within the force as they are less likely to use force. This in the long run costs the departments less as they are less likely to be involved in litigation as compared to the males. In areas with particular races, it is advisable to deploy officers of a similar ethnic background and race. This will reduce bias and or disparity within the organization and also to the society.

Departments should have their doors wide spread to invite and be open to research so as to fix the continued problems existing within the force so as to reduce the level of discrimination within the force. There should be constant rotation and transfer of those who have served in the same office over years so as to reduce the ability of having constant influence of a particular office. This reduces bias and discrimination problems within positions of authority. In the wake of all this, body cameras would play a vital role in fighting discrimination. This positively influences the behavior and use of proper procedure when carrying out official work.

It is also important not to criminalize many scenarios as this creates the need for punishments. This wastes time as officers follow up on petty crimes that lead to bias. It is important that those officers who are biased or use their positions of authority to administer their power in a way that shows that they are racist or sexist to face the long arm of the law. This checks out on all the possible disparities existing within the state department. Those policies that are in place that encourage racism should be amended if not banned.

Given that policies are meant to protect the community or jurisdictions in which they operate, it is important to involve the community in making these policies so as to protect them as a whole. It is the responsibility of the police department to protect and defend democracy in their state. For this reason, followed procedures should be respected when hiring new staff into the force. The training these officers go through should be in line to remove the obstacles created by discrimination. The new training methods should be in a bid to remove the existing problems created.

Those officers who suffer from discrimination amongst their fellow troopers should be given a lifeline by punishing those involved. Authority from all corners should stand in the direction of fighting against the scourge of discrimination that has destroyed the State Troopers image. Since this discrimination increases crime heavily, it destroys the work already done by the faithful servants in uniform. It instead creates ground for further crime and thus the need to create more out of the force should be a push factor for a better serving force. These stereotypes can be put to past by aggressively implementing the rights and obligations of citizens. The deferral government is highly responsible for this move. This can be done by filing law suits meant to target those states departments or officers who are engaged in this unlawful act.

People should be involved in the delivery of the service of the police department. This therefore means there must be a cordial relationship between the police and its community. To do this, there should be no gap that divides the police and its people. It is statistically proved that with racial discrimination, there is no proper understanding between the public and the police. This therefore destroys any co-operation that would exist between these parties. It therefore should be a priority for the policy to mend its relationship with the people it serves.

During operation, the police should operate in the most professional manner. This involves proper judgment and equal treatment of all suspects. The way a suspect is treated says a lot about an officer’s views about sexes or races. In addition, the level of integrity should be maintained. This can be done through periodical training of officers so as to keep the quality of their service at a top level standard at all times.

Also, it is important to amend most policies in the post- September 11 era. Most people who are discriminated, say the Arabs in America today are viewed in the line of terrorists ever since after the fatal attacks. It therefore creates a cloud of crime, hate, and disrespect for the force when a suspect is treated in a manner that shows they are looked at as terrorists. Even within the communities they live, it becomes increasingly difficult for both the law enforcement agencies and the citizens. The impression created by an officer when they see a fellow officer who has Arabic decency creates fear, which would be natural. However, it is important to restore trust and belief in the intelligence of those bodies responsible for protecting the citizens that the people in their neighborhood are the right people to be with. It is a difficult task; however, it brightens up the name of the department once they get it right.

There should be amendment of immigration policies so as to be sure of the people in communities. Background checks should be done so as to harness any fears of those who intend to serve as State Troopers and therefore create a friendly test to suite those within the direction of interest to serve.

Officers who are armed should be monitored closely of their mental health and be given strict conditions under which to use their firearms. Otherwise, it is used as an excuse when they react out of their personal judgment as opposed to their professional judgment in situations where discrimination is in light of their actions.

It is also important to sensitize and educate the public on their rights in a bid to fight discrimination. Sometimes, these people have their rights turned down or given a deaf ear and yet they could be the reason discrimination comes to an end in the state.


There is a high level of profiling within the state departments and by the officers on duty as they execute their work. This is sometimes unintentional or intended, based on a series of circumstances. However, it is important to bring an end to profiling within the force as it destroys not only the image of the state department, it destroys the hard work done by those who started and tried to defend the work of great countrymen. It destroys the work done by the patriots of this nation, the people who are solely responsible for making the nation as great as it is today. It destroys their motive, their purpose and memory. It therefore should be the responsibility of each and every single citizen, irrespective of race or gender to recall and fight for the greatness of the nation. To look back and recall what the countrymen wanted, dreamed of, wished for this country when they took the step to make this nation what it is today.

January 18, 2023
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