Around 800 NYPD recruits gathered this morning at the Apollo Theater to begin "four days of multicultural immersion training," according to a release. Several pastors, a NYCHA board member, and Errol Louis were scheduled to speak to the candidates today, but NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly imparted some wisdom: “You have the power to arrest, to take away someone’s liberty. You have the power and the authority to use force and sometimes deadly force," Kelly said, according to CBS. "Now these are awesome powers."
Kelly added, “You’ll be policing the most diverse city in the world..Some situations that may have put us at odds with the community…You’ll learn that people are not always happy with what you do, be it perhaps a stop of a suspect."
Kelly reminded the recruits, who are expected to graduate on July 2 at the Barclays Center, that “all it takes is one errant police officer” to sully the credibility of "a great institution" like the NYPD.
Earlier this month Joe Goldstein reported on a previously obscure Police Academy training manual entitled, "Policing a Multicultural Society," which gives trainees tips on how to engage residents not entirely familiar with the city's culture or law enforcement protocol.
“Be aware that newly arrived Arab-Americans may get out of their car when stopped by a police officer as a gesture of courtesy,” the guide notes.
Another piece of advice from the manual:
Your interactions with immigrants from countries like Haiti, Cambodia, El Salvador and Guatemala will go more smoothly if you take the time to assure them that you will not hurt them…In such places, people learn early that there is little to gain and much to lose by trusting the police or by telling them the truth.