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Police Reach Black Quota, Gates Reports

February 27, 1986

Calling it a "significant milestone," Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates announced Wednesday that his department has reached a quota of black officers established six years ago after a lengthy court battle.

There are 776 black officers in the Police Department, representing about 11% of the department's authorized strength of 7,000--a figure reflecting the percentage of blacks in the civilian county labor force, Gates said.

"Were very proud of it. We have a long way to go, but we believe it is a very, very significant milestone and the people of this city need to know that," the chief said.

Faced Discrimination Suit

Police officials, facing a major sex and minority discrimination suit, agreed in 1980 to a consent decree requiring that 22.5% of the officers hired each year be black, 22.5%, Latino and 25% women. That practice is to continue until women make up 20% of the police force, and the percentage of blacks and Latinos is proportionate to their numbers in the Los Angeles-area labor force.

The numbers of Latinos and women in the department also have increased significantly since 1980, but are not expected to reach their consent-decree goals until the 1990s, Gates said Wednesday.

Latinos number 1,061 or 14.9% of Los Angeles police (the goal is 24.6%); women number 571, or 8% of the force, according to department statistics.

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