Members of the Montgomery County Council, saying they were disturbed that top county police officials have recruited only one black candidate in the upcoming officers class, called yesterday for a special council inquiry.
Council members Isiah Leggett and Bruce T. Adams said they would hold a joint session of the council's Personnel and Government Services committees to look into allegations by county NAACP officials that only one recruit was accepted from 100 black applicants.
"It caught me by surprise," said Adams, noting that police officials have told council members that there was no problem with minority recruitment.
"I have gone through the numbers and the allegations and I find it quite disturbing," said Leggett. "But what I find even more disturbing is the official response thus far."
Montgomery NAACP Chairman Roscoe Nix complained in a letter to County Executive Sidney Kramer that top police officials said it was hard finding eligible blacks because some applicants were "irresponsible," "lackadaisical" and "young and immature."
Police Chief Donald E. Brooks said through a spokesman that he would have no comment.
Kramer said yesterday he would meet today with Brooks. Kramer said he wants to hear both sides before making any judgment, but he stressed, "On the issue of minority hiring, there can be no compromise. We must have an all-out effort."
Since Brooks was named chief in April 1988, there has been a steady hum of complaints about his management of the department. Leaders of the police union have blamed Brooks for what they say is inadequate equipment and poor morale. Some council members have complained privately that Brooks, a 40-year member of the force, isn't creative or imaginative. "He just doesn't have much vision," said one council member.
Kramer said that such criticism is "simply part of the hazards of serving as chief of police" and that he has confidence in Brooks.
While there has been little comment from the administration, sources said there have been meetings behind the scenes to deal with the NAACP allegations.
Alan P. Dean, chairman of the Human Relations Commission, confirmed that county police and personnel officials met on Tuesday. Dean said the meeting had been ordered by Kramer "because he was concerned about the situation." Dean said it was unusual for him to attend the meeting because his main role is to deal with any public complaints about discrimination.
Dean said the group is trying to figure out "how can we effectively address the concerns raised by the NAACP."