The new class of NYPD recruits being sworn in Thursday is expected to be made up of more than 30 percent Hispanic officers, the highest such proportion in city history, police officials said Monday.
While the NYPD won't know the exact number of recruits who will attend the swearing-in until late Wednesday, officials expect to bring in 650 new cops into the department as part of the more than 1,250 officers added to the budget this year.
Black candidates are expected to be close to 17 percent of the new hires, Asians about 10 percent and women more than 18 percent, said an NYPD official familiar with the hiring. The department is pushing to increase minority hiring by shortening the application and screening process, which can take up to four years.
"Higher percentages of Hispanics, blacks, Asians and females will be the new norm," said the official about future police academy classes.
The next swearing-in of about 1,297 new officers is scheduled for January and will round out the police allotment in Mayor Bill de Blasio's budget, accounting for attrition. Monday, Police Commissioner William Bratton told Newsday that he has such a backlog of applicants -- more than 50,000, although some may have dropped out -- that he decided to hold off on launching a new recruitment campaign.
"During the time 2008, 2009 and 2010, when the city wasn't hiring, they kept giving exams so the backlog kept growing and growing even when we weren't hiring, so now I am stuck with this huge backlog," Bratton said.
A new marketing campaign will get underway next year, one in which Bratton said he would rely on help from police fraternal organizations to reach target groups.
The upcoming campaign will focus more on attracting candidates interested in performing respectful and courageous public service and not just attracted by "adventure" and benefit packages, officials said.
"The message is not action and adventure and benefits," the NYPD official said. "If you come in for that reason, don't come."
Bratton also said he doesn't want to lower academic standards for new cops. "With all the challenges facing cops . . . this is not the time to lower educational standards," he said.
"We don't have to lower standards to improve the number of percentage of minorities, it can be . . . [improved] through removing barriers to diversity and targeted recruitment campaign," noted Michael Julian, deputy commissioner for personnel.