One of the central beliefs of thePoliPit.com is “Diversity without discernment is destructive.” This truth is proved daily by the hiring and promotional practices of various businesses and government agencies and their results. Diversity for diversity’s sake is foolish and destructive. We have written several articles on affirmative action type issues, and the results are always the same when diversity is given prominence over discernment; a starved ability to succeed. Private businesses and government agencies are committing suicide by implementing policies that demand diversity for diversity’s sake. Think of the logic involved with this foolish belief: Don’t hire and promote the most qualified candidate, hire and promote the candidate with a specific skin color or sexuality without consideration of merit. I suppose you could also add the example of voting for someone based on race rather than ability; there seems to be a similar untenable result.
Before Mayor Ballard decides on another Public Safety Director he must use proper discernment. The desired qualities of the next PSD should reflect the desired qualities you want from the men and women he/she will lead. Certainly the next Public Safety Director must have a working knowledge of public safety related matters, but more importantly the next PSD must have a proper philosophy on leadership, hiring and promotion. IMPD needs some reform, but the most important reform should be a repudiation of hiring and promoting based solely on diversity. Why would an agency struggling to fill its roles with people of character, integrity, intelligence and aptitude ignore those qualities so they can be more diverse? Doesn’t that sound destructive to the very goal of improving accountability, morale, and professionalism? If a black citizen can’t trust a white officer to do his/her job because he/she looks different, then the problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the bigoted citizen, NOT the police department. Skin color is not an indicator on the quality and merit of an individual.
I’ve been told there are a number of excellent leaders in positions of rank within IMPD who possess great character, integrity, intelligence and aptitude that the members of IMPD will follow. Somehow these individuals have weathered the “Straub storm” and kept their jobs. Promote those individuals, no matter their skin color, especially if they are exceptional leaders. Why run the risk of hiring another Straub-like Public Safety Director for the mere perception that the Mayor is sensitive to diversity. We need a Mayor and Public Safety Director that places discernment above diversity.