Diversity in Police

Discrimination occurs in the assignment of officers. In the south during the segregation era, black officers were not assigned to white neighborhoods and were not permitted to arrest whites. Many northern cities also confined minority officers to minority neighborhoods. Some police departments assigned their incompetent white officers to racial minority neighborhoods.
A particular problem today involves discrimination in assignment to special units such as criminal investigation, the gang unit or the canine unit. In most departments, assignments to special units are discretionary and are not governed by seniority rules. The Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department identified two categories of desired positions: “coveted” positions were those that officers sought because they are interesting, high-paying, or convenient (in terms of work schedule); and “high-profile” positions which are those likely to lead to promotion and career advancement. Investigative studies of both the LAPD and the NYPD have shown that black and Hispanic officers have traditionally been under-represented in elite units.
More important than national data on police employment is the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of local departments. The key issue is whether a department reflects the community it serves.
The assumption behind having a diverse police workforce is that it will improve police-community relations. Is there any truth to this argument?
Civil rights activists have traditionally argued that police departments should employ more black and Hispanic officers because they will be better able to relate to communities of color and be less likely to use deadly force or physical force. Some community activists have argued that departments should assign more blacks to black neighborhoods and more Hispanics to Hispanic neighborhoods.
2. Is there any truth to this argument?