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.