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"Piece of the Pie" and More: Competition and Hispanic Employment on Urban Police Forces

NCJ Number
Urban Affairs Review Volume: 34 Issue: 3 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 456-475
N O Alozie; E J Ramirez
Date Published
20 pages
Because diversification of local police forces is essential in any systematic response to difficulties in police-minority relations, the authors explored the relevance of intergroup and intragroup competition to Hispanic employment as a dimension of police diversification.
The study included 182 U.S. cities with a population of 50,000 or more in 1990 and a minimum Hispanic population threshold of 5 percent. Data were obtained from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission special files, census reports, the National Roster of Hispanic Elected Officials, and the International City and County Management Association's Municipal Yearbook. Three constructs were used to gauge the level of Hispanic representation on police forces: (1) Hispanic composition as a percentage of each city's police force; (2) employment of male and female Hispanic police officers; and (3) competition, measured as both intergroup and intragroup competition. Results indicated that competition was relevant to ethnically diverse police forces and to increasing the role of Hispanic women. Black employment had a negative influence on Hispanic employment and that negative influence extended to Hispanic males and females separately. White females generally competed with Hispanics, particularly in minority Hispanic cities. Within Hispanic groups, successes of Hispanic males and Hispanic females were zero-sum. 63 references, 8 notes, and 3 tables