"No effort is ever made to arrest every user of marijuana," a police official who commands a precinct in New York's East Village told an audience of about 35 at Lowell House last night.
Joseph Fink-a Deputy Inspector in the New York Police Department-answered questions about drug use, demonstrators, and problems of police recruitment during a 90-minute meeting sponsored by a Ford Foundation-funded program which brings speakers to all Harvard Houses.
Fink said that in the Ninth Precinet-which he commands-"more effort was spent to find the [drug] wholesalers and those dealing in large quantities."
Asked about charges of police misconduct during the Chicago Convention and the police raids at Columbia, Fink said that police are "just human beings like everybody else."
If a policeman is in "a situation where he is being taunted and even having missiles thrown at him, then he is going to react just like any normal human being would," he said.
Most policemen come from "workingclass families." Fink said. "They are adults when they come to the Police Department, and they have attitudes,they have opinions, they have prejudices they bring with them," he added.
Although less than 10 per cent of the New York Police are black or Puerto Rican, Fink said, "efforts are being made" to recruit more minority policemen. He cited new training programs and the use of Spanish-speaking recruiters.
"The height requirement was reduced because Puerto Ricans did not feel they could meet the high standard," he said.