The New York Police Department is working to recruit more Muslims, and is asking for help within the community to better refine outreach aimed at stifling the lure of overseas terror groups, officials said Monday.
Right now, there are about 800 Muslim uniformed police officers out of about 35,000, according to the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. Of those, only about 20 are higher ranked officials. Lt. Adeel Rana, commanding officer of the community affairs immigration outreach unit, said there has been a slow increase over the past decade, but it has been rapidly changing in the past year and a half.
“It’s changing every day; we are getting more and more recruits,” he said. “And as they see people of their own religion in uniform, their eyes brighten.”
There has been an effort to increase openness and communication with the community since the new administration took over, stinging from a public outcry over the contentious stop , question and frisk policy and the surveillance of Muslims. A unit that investigated Muslims under the previous police commissioner was disbanded, and Commissioner William Bratton said Monday officials had worked hard to regain trust.