Newark, Jersey City police are least similar to populations they serve, national report says

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on October 02, 2014

Newark and Jersey City topped a list of large U.S. police departments whose racial makeup is least similar to that of the populations they serve.

 

NEWARK — A pair of North Jersey police departments top a list of large police departments whose racial makeup differs widely from the citizens they are sworn to protect.

According to a report by data journalism website FiveThirtyEight.com, Jersey City topped the list of departments least demographically similar to population, while Newark was just behind.

Both cities have a disproportionately large share of white police relative to their cities’ population, the analysis found.

The two cities were the only ones in New Jersey to qualify for the list, which included only the largest 75 police forces in the country. The data also includes sheriff’s officers, transit and railroad police.

Det. Hubert Henderson, a spokesman for the Newark police, told FiveThirtyEight that the city’s police department “is representative of Newark in all races.”

“The numbers we have in the department are representative of the demographics of our residents,” he said.

Henderson added that the city does not hire officers based on race, but rather their scores on a civil service test administered during the application process.

The FiveThirtyEight analysis was aimed at measuring whether residency requirements, which mandate that police live in or around the communities they serve results in forces more demographically similar to their city’s population.

Both Newark and Jersey City have some form of residency requirement.

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