CBSPhilly reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says he’s having problems filling out the ranks of his force — particularly with African-American men, who represent just 9 percent of officers. (At its high, the number was 16 percent.)
“We’re looking at every single phase, to see where we’re losing people and whether or not it’s a problem of standards being too tight, that would unnecessarily eliminate people.”
Case in point was the minimum age to apply for the Police Academy.
Ramsey said,”We had (earlier) raised the age to 21. We (have since) lowered it back down to 19. The reason being, that many people couldn’t wait to get jobs. By the time they turned 21, they already had other employment.”
But Ramsey cautioned that lowering application standards can only go so far.
He said the goal has to be to get not just more people into the department, but "people of quality," adding that emphasizing the tech aspects of the job might make it more appealing.