One of the things that upset Harper the most was that even though he took it on himself to actively recruit all over the country when it came time to hire, some way, somehow those Blacks were eliminated, even though some were hired in other cities. This was extremely frustrating to him because he truly believed that there was going to be more Blacks in the last class that ended up being only two.
Another area the new chief must continue to work on was also a priority of Harper, and that is Black on Black crime. The violence in the streets as well as the violence at social events must end, and it’s going to take some strong measures by the police, which may not be liked by some of the community, especially the thug families.
I consider Nate Harper to have been one of the best police chiefs we have had, if not the best, so whoever the new chief is, he’s going to have to keep most, if not all the programs Harper had in place plus adding more. Because Harper came from the Black community he legitimately cared about what happened and was working to improve police community relations as well as curtailing the violence in our communities. It’s a shame he wasn’t able to finish what he started.
With Harper gone, and most of the Blacks in high positions leaving within a year or two, we will go back to the token positions and the Jordan Miles incidents will once again become the norm instead of the exception with White officers disrespecting the Black community. As a Black man who surrounded himself with several Black officers Harper understood the problems and what needed to be done to correct them in the Black community but wasn’t able to make most of the changes he wanted because he didn’t get the support he needed from the top.
So since there will be a new mayor, and the new police chief should be selected by that new mayor, we had better make sure that everyone running for that seat is very clear on what they expect from their police chief and police department, and what commitment they are willing to make toward true diversity, which means making sure Blacks are hired on the police force at some ratio close to what their general population is in the city.
I’m still waiting for the FBI report on what they are charging the former police chief with, and what the money in the savings and loan account was spent on.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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