In Law Enforcement, What Price Diversity?

At some point in the past few decades, the dominant theory behind American policing became that the cops should be drawn from the same ranks as the ethnic groups that made up most of the violent criminals. What started by happenstance, when the Irish were disproportionately represented on both sides of the equation, became codified by the 1970s as police departments around the country hired more black and Hispanic officers in order to “represent” the force to the tough neighborhoods they were patrolling.

The flaw in this notion, however, was almost immediately apparent, as the Martin Scorsese movie, The Departed, so vividly illustrates. It’s easy to get (allegedly) infiltrated…

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