Professor of Criminology, Florida State University
- Over the six-year period studied, only 7.2% of the 13,527 applicants were Black.
- Black applicants were primarily disqualified for their initial applications, written exam, or their background screening.
- Black applicants “self-selected” out of the application process by failing to submit to the procedural requirements.
In the article, “Identifying Barriers to Black Applicants in Police Employment Screenings,” Kringen and her co-author examine why Black police officers are underrepresented in the industry by looking into the police hiring process. The authors conducted a barrier analysis, which involves detailing the hiring process and isolating the points that may affect the outcome. Using data from a major metropolitan police department in the southwest, the researchers used applications from 2007-2012 (13,527 total applications) and broke the application process into segments. The data showed that of the total applications in the six-year period studied, only 7.2% of the applicants were Black. The results showed that Black applicants were significantly more likely to be disqualified during the initial application (for submitting incomplete applications and not responding to information requests), written exam (for failing to schedule or appear for an exam, or taking and failing an exam), and background screening (for financial issues, criminal history, academic or employment history) stages. Many of these reasons were cited as “self-selection” out of the process but were found primarily to impact Black applicants.