10 city officers promoted under new rating policy

October 11, 1994

The Annapolis Police Department will promote 10 officers to the rank of corporal this week, just five months after a court ordered it to adopt a strictly merit-based promotion system.

Earlier this year, the department announced promotions for 10 officers -- half of whom were minorities -- to integrate its all-white, all-male corporal ranks. But the department rescinded those promotions after a group of officers ranked higher on an eligibility list sued the city. An Anne Arundel Circuit judge ruled in their favor and ordered the department to base its ranking system on merit only.

The new promotion list issued Friday includes two black officers -- a man and a woman -- and eight white officers. Col. Joseph S. Johnson, who chose from 14 candidates, passed over four white male officers.

The promotions mark the end of a long and sometimes tense few months, said James Scott, a police recruiter and 10-year veteran of the force.

Officer Scott is one of the two black officers who will be promoted in a ceremony Thursday.

"I think it was unfortunate things happened the way they did, but for better or worse, it happened and it's over now," he said. "Now for some people, it's back to square one again."

Promotions come up every two years, when officers take qualifying exams to elevate their rank and position.

Officer Scott, a detective on the force for more than three years, will supervise criminal investigations, a position he says he's more than ready to fill.

"I feel I deserve it," he said. "I feel I've worked hard."

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