Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by BVN
Hardy Brown Sr. | Chair, San Bernardino NAACP Legal Redress Committee and Publisher Emeritus, Black Voice News
It has been a long time coming, but it has come.
As a former Human Resource Manager with the responsibility to implement Executive Order 11246 signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson, with its goal of ending racial discrimination in employment by requiring employers to take affirmative action to evolve a workforce that represents the community in which they serve, I see the hiring of Darren Goodman as a welcomed decision by the San Bernardino City Manager Robert Field and the city council.
It took 116 years, 39 police chiefs, and it’s been 75 years since Johnny Epps—the city’s first Black police officer—was hired by San Bernardino, to get here and I am overjoyed with the employment of Chief Goodman. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “the ark of justice is long but always bends toward justice, truth and right.” Let me add to that quote, the ark will not bend unless the forces of nature like wind, hot sunshine, or man, physically push and pull on it.
That is what I have been doing since the city council meeting on May 1, 2019, when five white police officers were introduced to the council and public and given the responsibility of implementing and supervising the “Community Policing Program” and not one Black or Latino officer was included among them. That pissed me off.
What angered me more was that not one city council member or the mayor said a “mumbling” word or raised a question about the lack of diversity in that decision. I said to myself, “Enough is Enough!” I attended the next council meeting on May 15, 2019 and have been speaking before the council ever since, with the help of my wife, Cheryl, and the City Clerk.
It took three years for our city leaders to make this decision. I was 76-years-old when I jumped on this journey and now I am 79. Looking ahead, I am sure it will take constant monitoring of the department to ensure Chief Goodman gets a fair chance to do his job.
From my experience when it comes to implementing historical change such as this, you always have some staff members who resent taking direction from a Black manager. I hope and pray that the officers who recognize what we are doing, speak up to ensure Chief Goodman is treated with respect and fairness.
I am looking forward to meeting with him.
His experience and qualifications are impeccable as they should be, but in the past that has not always been the case for those selected before him.
Let us take this opportunity to press forward and make San Bernardino the safest city in the Inland Empire, state and the nation.
Welcome Chief Darren Goodman.