Monday, September 1, 2008

City Cop Chutzpah For Kosher Cadets

Diversity on New York City’s police force is a wonderful thing. It reflects, as it should, the multiplicity of the population. The NYPD proudly boasts 10 Orthodox Jews in its cadet class; 9 men and 1 woman. They are among a group of 1,218 classmates who hope to graduate in December. The very best of luck to them all! However, the Police Department has already excused this group of ten from working dusk to dusk, Friday to Saturday. This action was obviously taken out of respect for their faith. Does the city have the right to make religious allowances for them regarding their work schedule for non-holiday observance? Non-Jewish cops probably don’t get their work schedules adjusted to accommodate their faith, do they? On a different yet pertinent matter, an ultra-religious city female bus driver was recently fired for refusing to wear department-issued pants. She was disobeying their mandatory uniform requirements. Slacks for women are forbidden according to the dress code of her religion. Prejudice is a crime. So are double standards. To be perfectly clear here, this blog is not a knock against Jewish people or any other people of faith. It is however a knock against city policy makers for enforcing somewhat inconsistent religious rules. All city workers regardless of their faith should be treated the same. Likewise, all those of deep religious convictions who apply for city jobs should recognize that there are certain employment requirements that should be treated as gospel and obeyed as such.