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Solutions to Racial Profiling: Six Policy Proposals from the President’s Task Force


Here are six policy proposals President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Recommended for Implementation. (Excerpts)

Pillar One: Building Trust and Legitimacy

Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public. Toward that end, law enforcement agencies should adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle for internal and external policies and practices to guide their interactions with rank and file officers and with the citizens they serve. Law enforcement agencies should also establish a culture of transparency and accountability to build public trust and legitimacy. This is critical to ensuring decision making is understood and in accord with stated policy

Pillar Two: Policy and Oversight

Pillar two emphasizes that if police are to carry out their responsibilities according to established policies, those policies must reflect community values….

To achieve this end, law enforcement agencies should have clear and comprehensive policies on the use of force (including training on the importance of de-escalation), mass demonstrations (including the appropriate use of equipment, particularly rifles and armored personnel carriers), consent before searches, gender identification, racial profiling, and performance measures

Pillar Three: Technology & Social Media

The use of technology can improve policing practices and build community trust and legitimacy, but its implementation must be built on a defined policy framework with its purposes and goals clearly delineated. Implementing new technologies can give police departments an opportunity to fully engage and educate communities in a dialogue about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy

Pillar Four: Community Policing & Crime Reduction

Pillar four focuses on the importance of community policing as a guiding philosophy for all stakeholders. Community policing emphasizes working with neighborhood residents to coproduce public safety…

Communities should support a culture and practice of policing that reflects the values of protection and promotion of the dignity of all— especially the most vulnerable, such as children and youth most at risk for crime or violence. Law enforcement agencies should avoid using law enforcement tactics that unnecessarily stigmatize youth and marginalize their participation in schools (where law enforcement officers should have limited involvement in discipline) and communities.

Pillar Five: Training & Education

As our nation becomes more pluralistic and the scope of law enforcement’s responsibilities expands, the need for expanded and more effective training has become critical….

One specific method of increasing the quality of training would be to ensure that Peace Officer and Standards Training (POST) boards include mandatory Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which equips officers to deal with individuals in crisis or living with mental disabilities, as part of both basic recruit and in-service officer training—as well as instruction in disease of addiction, implicit bias and cultural responsiveness, policing in a democratic society, procedural justice, and effective social interaction and tactical skills.

Pillar Six: Officer Wellness & Safety

The wellness and safety of law enforcement officers is critical not only for the officers, their colleagues, and their agencies but also to public safety…

The members of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing are convinced that these 59 concrete recommendations for research, action, and further study will bring long-term improvements to the ways in which law enforcement agencies interact with and bring positive change to their communities. But we also recognize that the Administration, through policies and practices already in place, can start right now to move forward on the bedrock recommendations in this report