Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Race, Diversity and Law Enforcement: Examples of Programs for Cities from the Municipal Reference Service

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Race, Diversity and Law Enforcement: Examples of Programs for Cities from the Municipal Reference Service

Article excerpt

In many cities, law enforcement is becoming more sensitive to issues of race and diversity. Some communities have taken action to stop racial profiling. Others have started cultural diversity training programs for police personnel. These and other examples can be found with the assistance of NLC's Municipal Reference Service staff -- call (202) 626-3130.

Stamford, Connecticut

Stamford has a policy which bans the practice of racial profiling. The policy, developed by the police department and community leaders, states that "a police officer who suspects a person of criminal behavior solely on the basis of their race is guilty of unethical and improper behavior" and calls racial profiling "a violation of a person's civil rights." The policy also says that police will continue to stop people and cars lawfully, and conduct investigations properly and respectfully

Chandler, Arizona

The appointment of a Human Relations Commission was Chandler's response to a growing rift between the city and its Hispanic community. Crackdowns on illegal immigrants, most from Mexico, by the city government led to cries of civil rights violations from Hispanic residents. The Commission designed an action plan to create open and honest dialogue between the two groups. The plan recommends expanded cultural diversity training for city employees, expanded "stop, search, and seizure" laws training for police officers, the appointment of a special police liaison to the Hispanic community, and a series of citizen participation workshops where Hispanic and other residents can play an active role in changing policies and attitudes. …

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