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Proposed revision to Law Enforcement standard 1.2.9 Bias Policing

At the November 2019 Covington, KY meeting of the Standards Review and Interpretation Committee (SRIC) the committee directed staff to post the following standard and requested changes to the clients for comments.  Please post your comments or send correspondence to CALEA by Friday, January 24th, 2020.

The CALEA Emerging Issues sub-committee reviewed several standards related to the issue of addressing bias-motivated calls for service generated by the public.  The commentary is proposed for updating to bring attention to this potential issue. 

1.2.9 (LE1)

(M M M M) (LE1) Bias Policing

The agency has a written directive governing biased policing and, at a minimum, includes the following provisions:

  1. a prohibition against biased based policing;
  2. initial training and annual training for affected personnel in biased issues including legal aspects; and
  3. a documented annual administrative review of agency practices including citizen concerns and any corrective measures taken.

Commentary

Biased  policing is the application of police authority based  on a common trait of a group. This includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation, or language fluency.

Law enforcement agencies should not condone biased policing in its enforcement programs as it may lead to allegations of violations of the constitutional rights of the citizens we serve, undermine legitimate law enforcement efforts, and may lead to claims of civil rights violations. Additionally, biased policing alienates the public, fosters distrust of law enforcement by the community, invites media scrutiny, invites legislative action, and judicial intervention.

Law enforcement personnel should focus on a person's conduct and not consider common traits unless that trait has been associated with a specific suspect of a crime or the suspects associated with a pattern of incidents in a particular area.

Law enforcement agencies should implement ongoing, top down training for all officers in cultural diversity and related topics that can build trust and legitimacy in diverse communities.  This should be accomplished with the assistance of advocacy groups that represent the viewpoints of communities that have traditionally had adversarial relationships with law enforcement.  The agency should ensure all police actions provide training that addresses how bias can affect police activities and decision making, such as field contacts, traffic stops, searches, asset seizure and forfeiture, interviews and interrogations. Training should emphasize the corrosive effects of biased policing on individuals, the community and the agency.  Agencies should consider ways that citizens might seek to utilize law enforcement personnel against others in a biased manner and consider training, policies, or other safeguards to minimize the risk personnel are placed into biased circumstances by an outside source.

It is best practice for the agency to collect and track data relating to all citizen contacts as defined by the data tables (biased policing, traffic warnings and citations).  Time sensitive standard.  (M M M M) (LE1)

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