CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has submitted a proposal to completely scrap a $30 fee to take the initial police exam in a bid to broaden Department diversity by removing a "potential financial hurdle."
Emanuel submitted the proposal at Wednesday's City Council meeting. It would simply eliminate the $30 fee for the police entry exam. Other city fees "relating to each entry-level examination" would remain the same: $30 for firefighters, $10 for various professional positions and $5 for others.
"As part of last year’s targeted minority recruitment campaign for the Chicago Police Department, the Department of Human Resources met with CPD, aldermen and community leaders to find ways to break down barriers allowing more people to apply," said Michelle Levar, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Relations. "Following those conversations, and building on this year’s successful recruitment campaign, this ordinance removes a potential financial hurdle and makes the police hiring process more accessible to all, particularly those who may not have taken the exam otherwise."
The Department has been working for years if not decades to broaden diversity, which former Supt. Garry McCarthy acknowledged as a problem.
Earlier this week in an appearance at the City Club, Supt. Eddie Johnson said the Department was using social media such as Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram to attract younger minority applicants, and he touted that 71 percent of those who most recently took the exam were minorities.
The City Council will most likely take up the issue before its next meeting in July.
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