SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
Mayor Clinton I. Young has had a number of issues that have tainted his administration which leads to question his leadership abilities. The murder rate is Mount Vernon is the highest it has ever been. There appears to be systematic racism in the Mount Vernon Police Department when it comes to promoting Black and Hispanic police officers.
One of the issues that we will discuss is the stagnation of Black and Hispanic police officers . The Mount Vernon Police Department apparently is in disarray. The leadership to begin with is not one that supports its Chief because she is not one of the 'good ole boys' and not the choice of the Police Commissioner. She has not been given the respect due to her by the Deputy Chiefs because she is the choice of embattled Mayor Clinton Young. The Chief has been referred to by one Captain at the time of her appointment, as a “Bitch”.
With that being said, the question now becomes what is the purpose of the Deputy Chief's when prior to 2002 there was no need for a Deputy Chief at all. One of the Deputy Chief’s had 3 sons and a daughter in law working as police officers for the Mount Vernon Police Department and were given all of the training that even seasoned officers could not and would not receive. It is evident that the interests of this Deputy Chief lie elsewhere. Subsequently, all 4 officers have gone on to other departments. Mount Vernon taxpayers should not be responsible for training police officers for other police departments, nor should Mount Vernon be a dumping ground for police officers that were first rejected and not accepted by other departments.
The demographics in the City of Mount Vernon since 2006 are approximately 65% Black; 25% White; 15% Hispanic or others. The demographics in the Mount Vernon Police Department are approximately 70% white; 20% Black; 10% Hispanic. It is the opinion of Mount Vernon Exposed that the demographics of The Mount Vernon Police Department reflect the communities in which the officers serve.
There are several specialized units in the detective division; we have the narcotics unit, the general investigations unit, intelligence unit, gang unit, the youth unit and the major case unit.
THE NARCOTICS UNIT
This unit since 2007 has had only black officer working in the unit for the most part at any one time and has been extremely unsuccessful especially within the last year in their responsibilities. The productivity in this department is extremely poor compared to other units in the Detective Division. Many would point to the leadership of that unit for the reason for this. 90% of the arrests are persons that are African-American but this division is total opposite. It is believed all but one Detective are not residents of Mount Vernon. The unit now has 1 Black officer, 3 Hispanic officers and 2 White detectives and 2 or 3 White officers. This unit could use some diversity.
THE GENERAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
This unit has remained consistent throughout its existence and the unit is made up of different ethnic backgrounds and all are detectives. Though many of the Black and Hispanic detectives do not have the same training as their White counter-parts this unit is very well trained and apparently good at what they do. Diversity and training in the general investigations unit is good and many of these detectives are Black, White and Hispanic and either lives in the City of Mount Vernon or near by.
This unit is fairly new, yet not one person that has lived in the City of Mount Vernon has worked in this unit and no Black or Hispanic officer has ever worked in this unit. The officer that previously worked and the officer that is currently working in this unit is White and neither has ever lived in the City of Mount Vernon. One has to ask how accurate has that information been coming from this and could it have been improved if there were officers or detectives working in this unit from the City of Mount Vernon? With the demographics 70% Black, why aren’t there any Black police officers in this unit. It is believed that 95% of the intelligence coming into this unit comes from officers that reside in this City. This unit has only 1 Black supervisor who is familiar with the city and who at one time or another lived in the city. This unit could use some diversity.
This unit is fairly new; the department almost got this one right. There is 1 Black detective and 1 Black police officer and at least one of the officers is from the City of Mount Vernon, but there are only 2 people working in this unit and the are approximately 30 different gangs with more than 15 people in each of these gangs and some with as many as 50. This unit could use some diversity and a lot more manpower.
This unit was successful in the 80’s and 90’s and was disbanded in the early part of 2000 and then re-established in 2004. Since its re-establishment in 2004 this unit has been successful even though there were only 2 detectives working in the unit and at times, only 1 detective. There are over 20,000 youths in the City of Mount Vernon. There are now 4 detectives working in this unit and that is not enough. All of these officers are Black and all are from the City of Mount Vernon, but this unit could use more diversity.
MAJOR CASE UNIT
This unit since 2004 has been one of the most successful units in the State of New York and the County of Westchester. The major case unit from 2004 till July of 2009 had solved most of its cases and or has had leads in the unsolved cases. This unit usually consists of the best of the best in systematically and methodically putting cases together and only will take calculated risk when necessary. They avoid being reckless in the follow-up of the investigation. There is small margin for error. The detectives in this unit have a tremendous amount of experience in court room testimony. Other members of the department are not exposed to trials and hearings like the major case detectives.
Now we ask some serious questions- How does the supervisor of a successful unit become the supervisor of an outstanding unit? Why have the personnel in the major case unit been asked to leave the unit when the same supervisor from unsuccessful unit became their supervisor? Why is the only Black detective, who is also a resident of the City of Mount Vernon, in that unit reassigned to the youth unit? Why would the most seasoned detectives in the unit ask out of this unit? Why would the supervisor who once supervised the most successful major case unit since 2004, ask to leave this unit? How do the detectives that have never investigated a case become major case detectives? Why wasn’t anyone asked in the General investigations unit to work in the major case unit? The individuals that worked in General Investigations have the most experience investigating cases outside of the individuals that have investigated cases in the major case unit. Since July 2009 there are no Black or Hispanic detectives in this unit, and even more shocking there are no Black or Hispanic supervisors. How does this happen when 90% of the victims and suspects apprehended are Black and Hispanic? The present Police administration is only creating an environment for more violence with less experienced people investigating these crimes.
In the last 3 years since the present Commissioner has taken office there has been 28 homicides and almost twice as many victims of shootings. The commissioner has promoted approximately 13 supervisors. Of the 13 that were promoted, 1 of them has been Black, 2 have been Hispanic and 10 have been White. The homicide rate has risen and the opportunities for Black officers and detectives from this city have declined. The supervisors promoted during Mayor Young’s administration have done nothing but collect a paycheck. They have not invested in this community like many of their fellow officers from the City of Mount Vernon. They have not done anything to make this city safer. The Mayor ran on an agenda that spoke about the youth and public safety. The public safety part of his agenda has failed miserably. It appears that the administration in the Mount Vernon Police Department does not care for the Mayor because they have not developed anything close to diminishing crime and have set the City and its citizens on a course for disaster. One can come to the conclusion that the Mayor just doesn’t know or he just doesn’t care about the safety of Mount Vernon residents. Neither is good.
The first female to ever work in both the narcotics unit and the homicide unit is Black and was reassigned to the youth unit without an explanation. This woman should have been acknowledged for her accomplishments. There are Black officers who request to go to trainings and to specialized units but they are constantly denied, however their White counterparts are constantly placed in specialized units and are constantly trained. This is not because of their accomplishments but because of who they know. Did you know that not one White female officer works in the streets? They all work inside of headquarters. Did you know that all Black female officers work in the streets? I ask you to look at the records of who has been trained the most and I am sure you will find it is divided along racial lines. The whole department is going through racial turmoil due to the lack of accountability of the supervisors. Police brutality has also risen. It appears that the citizens in the City of Mount Vernon are paying taxes for the Police officers to abuse their and their children's civil rights. Parents are being arrested for beating their children when they do wrong, but its okay for police officers and Sergeants to beat their children when they are just walking the streets.
FINDINGS OF FACTThere are some serious racial issues in the Mount Vernon Police Department. Black Police officers do not receive the same training as their white counterparts. There is a lack of Black and Hispanic Officers in supervisory roles in the Mount Vernon Police Department.More Diversity is needed. This can lead to the Black Police Officers resenting and rebelling against their White superiors and unwillingness to effectively do their job. This had lead to a hostile work environment and a crime rate that is unmanageable. It is our belief at Mount Vernon exposed that a police department reflect the community that they serve. Extreme emphasis must be made to hire Mount Vernon residents as police officers. Mayor Young must take control of this situation immediately. The City of Mount Vernon must enact legislation that will prevent taxpayers of Mount Vernon from training police officers and then they seek employment elsewhere. Failure to act on this will jeopardize the quality of life in Mount Vernon for generations to come. It is our recommendation that an Independent Civilian Police Advisory Board be created with the power to subpoena