Investigating options for preventing racial profiling in the field

Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement officers interpret race (specifically minority regular membership) as an indicator of increased threat of criminal habit. Most racial profiling is conducted by officials engaged in street-level policing and this practice is normally banned by federal government law, condition statutes, and police manuals or rules (Wu, 2005). Corresponding the United States Section of Justice Simple fact Sheet on racial profiling

Racial profiling transmits the dehumanizing meaning to our citizens that they are judged by the color of their epidermis and harms the unlawful justice system by eviscerating the trust that is essential if police is to effectively protect our neighborhoods (USA, Team of Justice, 2003).

Major stakeholders with an intention towards this problem include the state's Attorney Standard, region commissioners or city council participants, agency leadership, law enforcement officers, and the general public. In reputation of the issue, various corrective steps have been considered by states. These options have included the introduction of statewide anti-racial profiling procedures and mandatory demographic data collection to be conducted for legal reasons enforcement officers during all puts a stop to.

This writer suggests the execution of an early on intervention system to compile information like the assignment history of each officer, traffic enforcement data, resident grievances, and disciplinary actions taken resistant to the officer. This technique would be employed by supervisors to screen officer performance and to solve potential problems before they escalate to serious racial profiling events. Used regularly, this program would identify potential racial biases better and would place better accountability after supervisors to keep an eye on officials' performance.

Problem Statement

The problem is the use of racial profiling in neuro-scientific police. Specifically, the challenge is the disproportionate volume of minorities that are targeted for investigatory can stop in comparison to non-minorities. Historically, African Us citizens, Hispanics, and since 9/11, Arab People in america have been subjected to higher instances of traffic stops and investigatory detentions. By explanation, "racial profiling" occurs whenever a law enforcement officer questions, stops, queries, arrests, or investigates and individual because the official holds a prejudicial notion that members of this person's racial or ethnic group have a greater likelihood than the rest of the populace to commit the type of criminal offenses the official is looking into. (Barnes, Gross, 2002) Officials who practice racial profiling are in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment Equivalent Safeguard clause which claims, "No express shalldeny to any person within its jurisdiction the equivalent protection of the laws and regulations. " (Ward, 2002) In addition to the violation of civil rights, racial profiling plays a part in the greater sociable problem of general population distrust towards law enforcement.


Attorney General

In most areas, the state's Lawyer General serves as the top law enforcement officer and legal professional for the state of hawaii. For state-level law enforcement agencies, specially the highway patrol or point out police, the legal professional general serves as a supervisor to the agency's director and therefore holds the duty for appointing the agency director as well as providing instruction to the firm with regards to the proper application of the law. In the event that a lawsuit is submitted against a state law enforcement organization, the attorney standard works as the state's legal agent. Furthermore, in a majority of states the legal professional general can be an elected official which is therefore subject to lose votes if the general public is dissatisfied along with his job performance. He must therefore stay up to date with any posts or changes to regulations and ensure that the state's police officers operate in compliance with these regulations.

County commissioners and City council members

Within counties, towns, and towns, the county commissioners, city or town council members are legislative body responsible for passing laws, bills, and ordinances that govern the municipality. In city or town law enforcement departments, the authorities key is appointed by the council and in state Sheriff's office buildings, the Sheriff may also be appointed by state commissioners (in circumstances where the position is vacant outside an election yr). In the event that citizens are not content with local legislations enforcement's activities, the county commissioner or city council people will notice the complaint and make your final decision on the matter. As decision manufacturers (and citizens) they don't mind spending time in maintaining open public safe practices and order. As elected officers, their performance is at the mercy of open public scrutiny and inability to adequately treat protection under the law violations is improbable to have them reelected.

Agency Leadership

Depending on the level of police (state or local), the organization Director, the principle of Law enforcement, or the county Sheriff have a primary responsibility in dealing with racial profiling. All police agencies operate using a "top-down" leadership procedure, with the Director, Main, or Sheriff near the top of the hierarchal ladder, followed by Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, and Officials or Deputies. The agency's head has an interest in making sure the department adheres to the regulations and policy requirements for police established by the state or municipality. The government has enacted anti-racial profiling laws and most claims have adopted suit. Police agencies that are found to be non-compliant with these laws are held responsible. As the best ranking employees within their respective companies, these officials serve as the "face" of the company and tend to be called after to answer to the aforementioned commissioners or councils when allegations of officer misconduct are made by the general public.

Law Enforcement Officers

Law enforcement officers are stakeholders because the public's belief of the authorities can have the positive or negative impact on performance of the tasks. Racial profiling is a contributor to the bigger social problem of public distrust of the police. In "Race, Cops, and Traffic Stops", Angela Davis argued that whenever minorities experience injustices that are tolerated by criminal justice officers, they develop distrust and disrespect for the justice system. That insufficient faith results in hopelessness, irritation, and sometimes violence (Davis, 2007). For law enforcement officers, general public trust and assistance is essential with their job function. When these two elements are reduced or absent in a community, fewer offences are resolved and officer basic safety is in danger.


The public relies on the authorities to enforce the law and keep maintaining order. As a subgroup of the general public, minority populations reveal these targets that police officers will behave ethically. Inability to rely on the authorities to remain reasonable and impartial creates a barrier between the law enforcement officials and the minority neighborhoods they serve. When this occurs, the public is less inclined to report crime and/or provide assist with the police during legal investigations. Eventually, some police officers develop an "Us against Them" plan towards minorities while minority groupings take up a "Them against Us" mentality. As a result, fewer offences are solved and criminals remain on the street. Thus, racial profiling plays a part in the perpetual circuit of police ineffectiveness caused by the disconnect between your police and the public.

Background of Problem

In "Analysis of Racial Profiling as Policy Analysis", Samuel Myers, Jr. presents a 1999 record by Knowles, Persico, and Todd that in a stretch of Interstate 95 in Maryland from 1995 to 1999, 63% of most motorists researched were BLACK. However, only 18% of the motorists on the highway were BLACK. Similar studies have shown patterns of disproportionality in traffic puts a stop to conducted by other police firms. Allegations of racial profiling have resulted in lots of category action lawsuits and law enforcement agencies' respond to the problem ranges. Some areas or authorities departments have forbidden racial profiling while others have focused on collecting racial data on puts a stop to and searches in order to keep an eye on the ratio of minorities to non-minorities being subjected to these activities. Many have also instituted training and education programs designed to specifically addresses racial profiling.

In 2002, the Minnesota condition legislature recommended a voluntary effort for police departments to address this issue. The preamble to the legislation read in part, "Law enforcement guidelines and training programs must highlight the necessity to respect the balance between the protection under the law of all individuals to be free from unreasonable governmental intrusions and legislations enforcement's need to enforce the law. " Key the different parts of the legislation included

The development of a statewide anti-racial profiling insurance policy that obligated law enforcement to provide their name or badge amount during regular traffic stops.

Providing training to law enforcement officers to stick to the model coverage and dismiss from service any officer who didn't complete the training.

Collection of data for a 2-year period among participating agencies (Myers, 2002).

In its response to racial profiling, the overall Assembly of North Carolina enacted a legislation in 2009 2009 that mandated both condition and local police officials to compile information for each and every traffic stop to add the competition, ethnicity, and gender of the driver along with the alleged traffic violation that led to the stop.

The results of these studies and actions taken by condition legislatures indicates acknowledgement that the racial profiling does exist and this appropriate measures need to be taken up to ban this practice.

Alternative Policies

In considering substitute ways to address the problem of racial profiling, one could consider a revision to departmental insurance policy to include specific disciplinary action, altering training and plan standards to include cultural awareness and diversity awareness training, or implementing an early involvement program to monitor officer performance and offer guidance.

Alternative Policy #1 - Disciplinary Action

In an attempt to deter officers from racial profiling, one alternative would be to revise departmental insurance plan to add disciplinary guidelines that prescribe specific punishment according to the number and severeness of substantiated offenses. For instance, the guide would prescribe counselling for a 1st offense, a written caution to be put into the officer's personnel file and possible suspension system for a 2nd criminal offense, and termination for a 3rd criminal offense.

This method would provide officials with strict rules to govern their patterns and would leave no room for misinterpretation. Issuing a punishment-based policy would also supply the public the understanding that the company takes the challenge seriously and will respond to issues with appropriate corrective action. The implementation of any "zero tolerance" coverage, in theory, could improve law enforcement officials relationships with minority areas and increase public confidence in law enforcement.

This alternative could also lead to a decrease in officer morale, higher turnover, and concern with punishment (amongst officers) for doing their careers. Officers who believe that stops relating minorities will be scrutinized could make an effort to avoid these investigatory stops, and therefore some guilty people goes undetected. This method does not remember that some officers, naturally of their task or job function, only will have more associates with minorities and will likewise execute more stops relating these groups. For instance, an official patrolling an inner city area is much more likely to have conversation with minorities than an officer designated to a rural area because urban centers tend to be racially and ethnically diverse. This will not provide as a definitive indication that the official with an increased percentage of stops including minorities is guilty of racial profiling. This insurance plan also does not allow for choice steps such as reassignment, additional training, or mental health assessment that could give the official an opportunity to redeem himself.

Lastly, punishment-based alternatives are generally ineffective in treating the primary cause of the situation. Instead of determining "why" an official has more ceases including minorities, this option is reactive in aspect and only seeks to penalize the official after this behavior is discovered.

Alternative #2 - Adjust Training and Coverage Standards

The majority of law enforcement firms across the region require officials to complete every year training to provide legal updates, refresher classes in officer safe practices, and also to renew firearms qualification. In addition to these classes, departments should combine mandatory cultural level of sensitivity/diversity awareness training in to the twelve-monthly in-service training curriculum to specifically talk about racial profiling. In addition, agency insurance policy could be fine-tuned to restrict officers to random interdiction and indiscriminate investigatory detentions.

Training in cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness would help dispel stereotypes and beat communication barriers that exist between the authorities and minority communities. In the Area of Columbia for example, the Diversity Awareness and Awareness Training Program originated by the Institute for Consumer Security & Justice to explore how issues of bias, prejudice, and stereotyping negatively impact effective law enforcement and the relationship between law enforcement firms and the areas they serve. Associates from ethnical and community teams are invited to include culture-specific information into the program (Institute for Consumer Security and Justice).

While on patrol, cops often use obvious violations of traffic regulations as a pretext to stop and question individuals whom they think of engagement in illegal medicine or firearm offenses. In most cases, the drivers was discontinued because of race. (Joh, 2007) With this substitute, agency plan would be altered to require officials to make use of "discretionless policing" and to prohibit pretextual traffic puts a stop to. Police officers would be asked to take universal prescribed enforcement measures whatever the circumstances of the stop. For instance, all drivers halted for speeding, busted taillights, or chair belt violations would be asked the same questions and given citations. In addition, officers performing highway interdiction or running radar would be required to point their patrol vehicles from traffic in order to remove racial id as one factor in the decision to perform a traffic stop.

Critics of ethnical sensitivity training for law enforcement view these initiatives as an effort at "political correctness" that is discriminatory and demeaning to non-minority officers. Training coordinators may possibly also find it hard to deciding which civilizations should be highlighted in working out program. Some would view the inclusion of only African American and Hispanic cultures as singling out these races (or ethnicities) as having negative connections with the police. Because of this training, law enforcement officers may consciously or subconsciously treat these minority communities with "kid gloves".

Police discretion is an vital part of effective policing. Forbidding the authorities from considering racial characteristics may reduce this performance. Oftentimes, those who take part in certain unlawful activities tend to reveal certain characteristics associated with specific socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. For instance, due to its low priced, the sale of crack cocaine is more common in poor, predominately DARK-COLORED communities. However, the sales of methamphetamine is more common among whites. Forcing the authorities to disregard such characteristics can lead to less effective policing and also to increased criminal offenses. (Persico, 2002)

Alternative #3 - Early on Intervention Program

Law enforcement agencies could implement an early on intervention system that would be used to identify officers who appear to have a tendency towards racial profiling. This technique would be a centralized repository within the company that compiles information to add: each officer's assignment area (or area), traffic enforcement data (of most individuals halted or detained), citizen complaints, and an archive of most tentative or final formal disciplinary actions taken from the officer before.

Early treatment is not to be perplexed with a formal discipline, which carries a negative connotation. Whereas discipline involves official noted actions toward officers in response to substantiated misconduct allegations, early intervention actions are informal and confidential. Officers flagged by the early involvement system should be addressed in confidential guidance lessons and a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) should be arranged upon between the supervisor and the official.

Recommended Policy

An early treatment program represents a proactive approach eliminating racial profiling that tailors corrective steps to fit the individual officer. Early treatment systems are of help in identifying potential problems before they escalate into more serious issues necessitating formal disciplinary action. Using this method also places better accountability upon supervisors to directly screen the performance with their subordinates. In contrast to traditional performance reviews that involve subjective assessments, this policy is objective in nature, identifying specific areas of performance, such as citizens' claims, and developing an appropriate reaction to these problems.

Implementation and Monitoring

An early involvement program will include four basic components: performance indicators, an identification and selection process, treatment, and post-intervention monitoring (Walker, 2005, 108).

Performance indications - Include data such as task area, racial demographic data of people detained (whether citation were released or not), resident complaints, and background of disciplinary activities.

Identification and Selection - Ought to be cured as two distinct stages. This might lead to some officers who are primarily identified based on compiled data that would not be determined for treatment. Instead, the nature and context of these standards should be further assessed before selection is made. An officer employed in a high-crime area will probably receive more issues than an official working in a low-crime area. Therefore, officials identified in the system as having relatively high amounts of grievances would be at the mercy of further screening which could reveal a legitimate explanation.

Intervention - Includes confidential counseling between the selected official and supervisor and may include the advice for remedial training specific to the officer's needs. The guidance session will include a discourse of the performance problems identified by the machine and an agreement on the steps which will be taken to perfect these issues.

Post-intervention monitoring - Following a involvement, the supervisor would be asked to monitor the picked officer's performance for a given time period. After the time period has passed without a great number of additional problem indications, monitoring frequency may be decreased or discontinued.


Funding could be accomplished by reallocating law enforcement grant funds to include a fund that made to target racial profiling. These cash would be provided to departments as a motivation to voluntarily put into practice an early treatment strategy. Grants would be used towards helping in startup, supervisor training, and maintenance of the system along with remedial training materials for officials.

Evaluative Criteria


Supervisors should analyze officer reports and field interview cards while carrying on to monitor the first intervention system to access citizen associates and the reason for puts a stop to and/or arrests. Like this of analysis will ensure that officers are enforcing the law fairly across minority and non-minority populations.


Periodic monitoring of the first treatment system would identify the frequency and kind of citizen complaints against an officer and would start further inquiry into the officer's performance. From there, the section could determine if any civil protection under the law violations have been determined by the officer and take immediate action.

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