City To Decide To Keep, Drop Minority Plan 1984 Consent Decree To Expire Next Month

November 19, 1990|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The Annapolis City Council will decide tonight whether to extend a 1984 court order calling for minority hiring and promotion in the police department.

The order, called a consent decree, has been extended three times and is set to expire next month.

The 6-year-old order resulted from a lawsuit by the Black Officers Association charging discrimination in the department. When the decree was issued, 11 percent of the department's officers were black and 7 percent were women. The decree calls for 25 percent of the department's officers to be black and 16 percent to be women.

About 35 percent of Annapolis' 32,000 residents are black.

The city has made some progress in the last year meeting the goals of the decree. Of 114 officers in the department, 25 -- or 22 percent -- are black, two more officers than last year, said Officer Doris Harrington of the department's planning and research office.

Thirteen officers -- or 11.4 percent -- are women, one more than last year. Five of the officers are black women and are counted twice.

The order also said that black officers should be represented in all units of the department and that the department should do more to improve relations with the black community.

The council will vote on the decree in closed session. If the council doesn't extend the decree, the Black Officers Association can go to federal court and ask a judge to extend it.

Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins couldn't be reached for comment Friday, but City Administrator Michael Mallinoff said he didn't think the mayor would have any problems with extending the decree.

Alderman Theresa DeGraff, R-Ward 7, chairman of the public safety committee, said she wanted to hear what Hopkins and Police Chief Harold Robbins had to say before deciding how to vote on the extension.

Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, said he supports the extension.

"There's no question it has not been complied with, and that we should extend it until we've complied with it," Snowden said.

In other action tonight, the City Council is scheduled to vote on a family leave bill that would allow city employees to take up to 12 weeks' unpaid leave to care for children or ill family members.

The bill, proposed by Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8, would let employees take unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, a foster child, or an ill child, spouse, parent or other dependent. The bill would also allow parents to take time off during school vacations to care for children up to age 14.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers in City Hall, on Duke of Gloucester Street.

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