NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 9, 2005

Affirmative action measures taken in the name of "diversity" have produced devastating results in some of the nation's institutions, especially large city police departments, says journalist Jan Golab.

Once known as the "world's greatest police department," the Los Angeles Police Department entered into a federal consent decree in 1981 that established quotas for minorities and females. In order to meet these quotas, the department had to lower its physical, intellectual and personal character standards, says Golab.

As a result:

  • The infamous Ramparts Scandal resulted in the firing of 30 officers who were associated with gang activity, drug deals and other crimes.
  • In the late 1990s, 25 black police officers were alleged to have ties with criminal gangs.
  • In 2001, the LAPD was short 884 officers, and many who were on the force had fewer than 5 years experience; furthermore, 40 percent of officers were looking for jobs with other police departments.

The dwindling quality of law enforcement has taken its toll on Los Angeles' crime rate as well:

  • In the year following the Ramparts Scandal, the LAPD?s anti-gang units were disbanded, crime increased 10 percent, the murder rate rose 25 percent and arrests dropped 25 percent.
  • Los Angeles averages 1,000 murders per year, and about two-thirds of them are committed by gangs.

Since 2002, however, violent crimes have dropped 18 percent with the arrival of L.A.'s new police chief. The department is still short-staffed, and voters recently rejected an initiative that would have funded 1,260 additional officers.

Problems with political correctness are not confined to Los Angeles. In the 1990s, Washington, D.C., lowered the standards for its police department and ended up firing or indicting 250 cops. New Orleans also indicted 100 cops who had been hired based on "political pressure," says Golab.

Source: Jan Golab, "How Racial P.C. Corrupted the LAPD," American Enterprise Institute, June 2005.


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