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The problem of racial profiling of minority communities has shown to be ineffective in preventing the growing concerns of increased crime rates and traffic congestion. Police departments have been continuously challenged by the lack of awareness on how they can address the arising public safety issues effectively.
Policy statement: the policy is concerned with identifying and eliminating both systemic and individual racial profiling at the police department of a chosen jurisdiction. Racial profiling, in regards to the established policy, is defined as any possible act of omission of safety, security, or public protection by an individual police officer or a whole department that results in created scrutiny and other adverse treatments based on race, ethnicity, and other related biases.
The policy option was chosen as a response to the problem because it would serve as a resource for law enforcement authorities on how to prevent racial profiling on a legislative basis. The target population of the policy, which includes law enforcement officers, is expected to act in accordance with the established principles. Bringing their attention to policy is essential because they hold authority and should use a reasonable degree of scrutiny to make judgments on ethnic origin, race, religion, color, and further stereotypes.
The police department at the given jurisdiction is required to carry out the policy and the related responsibilities. The critical step is to identify instances of racial profiling, which includes the singling out of a racialized individual, the deviation from normal practices, a person of color being subjected to unprofessional or degrading treatment, and lacking reasons for the treatment experienced by a person of color (UNODC, 2011). Recognizing the causes of racial profiling is concerned with eliminating inappropriate policies and the general organizational culture.
Provisions and Procedures
The provisions and procedures of the policy are concerned with following the practices and principles of positive change within law enforcement. First, it is expected to substantively acknowledge the reality of racial profiling and the adverse impact it has on the community. For example, public protests against racial profiling represent the key threat to the safety of the community and undermine trust in law enforcement. Second, the policy establishes active and regular engagement with minority groups to obtain feedback on the experiences of racial profiling. Third, policy guidance is the procedure concerned with the implementation of appropriate standards and guidelines that directly address ending racial profiling in law enforcement.
The fourth provision is collecting and analyzing race data within the community to identify and manage the instances of profiling as well as manage performance. It is followed by monitoring and accountability, which is a procedure implying the regular assessment of racial profiling and setting multi-dimensional mechanisms for internal accountability, governance, and operational levels. The sixth procedure is organizational change, which includes the implementation of organizational change in the police department. The change should include personnel training, human resource management, and the implementation of incentive structures.
This step should be consistent with the United Nations Human Rights and Law Enforcement standards, which describe the key principles of non-discriminatory practices within the police force (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Center for Human Rights, n.d.). For example, the standards include the following provision: “all persons are equal before the law, and are entitled, without discrimination, to equal protection of the law” (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Center for Human Rights, n.d., p. 4).
Law enforcement should comply with the provision not only in terms of treating the members of the community but also when hiring police officers, training them, and promoting. Finally, the policy should include an action plan that would feature the initiatives targeted at achieving both short- and long-term targets for advancing the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
To reach the identified goal of the policy, the support from several resource areas. These resources can range from staff to financial resources, all of which are necessary for making positive change. They include the following:
- Police human resources, which include a diverse workforce, such as officers of color, women, and representatives of minority groups;
- Information technology (IT) resources necessary to improve data collection, analysis, and assessment of information on instances of racial profiling;
- Community resources that support the work of the police department and enhance the public-police collaboration;
- Financial resources intended to fund the implementation of the policy. The cost projection for the policy is $100,000 for the first six months of the policy.
The implantation of tasks is expected to be completed within half a year; however, with the following assessment and the identification of limitations, the plan may span across one year. The police department will be responsible for implementing all seven provisions identified within the policy. The Police Chief and Training Division Commanders will implement the training, data collection, monitoring and accountability, and organizational change activities. The Police Human Resources Manager will hire new staff and onboard them in compliance with the established non-discriminatory policy. Police officers working at the community will implement the engagement with the minority groups to collect information on racial profiling cases.
The fundamental mechanism for self-regulation is the implementation of regular assessments at the department to analyze the cases of profiling and the methods in which they were addressed. Each police officer will be held accountable for showing signs of maltreatment based on personal biases and subjected to rigorous evaluations regarding their work at the department (UNODC, 2011). It is recommended to implement monthly assessments to determine whether any progress has been achieved within the efforts to positively change the perceptions of racial profiling and police brutality against minorities.
A plan for building and maintaining support should imply the close collaboration between the department and the community it serves. While internal efforts such as training and effective Human Resource Management will deal with organizing the effective work of the police officers, fostering positive relationships with the public is paramount to the policy. Collaborative police/community relationships are necessary for eliminating the negative perception that law enforcement only works to produce high arrest figures but can also be a useful tool for ensuring safety for all individuals regardless of their race or ethnicity.
The reviewed project scenario pointed at the serious issue of racial profiling on the part of law enforcement, which encourages public distrust and dissatisfaction. The proposed policy offers a multi-dimensional solution to addressing the issue through several steps that a department can follow. Training, data collection and analysis, accountability, and collaboration with the public are the main provisions of the policy. They are intended to create a positive environment within the community and facilitate trusting relationships between minority groups and law enforcement.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Center for Human Rights. (n.d.). International human rights standards for law enforcement. Web.
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UNODC. (2011). Handbook on police accountability, oversight and integrity. New York, NY: United Nations.