Bias-Free Policing

Bias-Free Policing


WHEREAS, bias-free policing is a critical cornerstone for upholding professional ethics in law enforcement, is vitally important to strengthening public trust and confidence in our actions and responsibilities, and is an essential element in maintaining community support for tolerance and understanding of our actions as we perform our responsibilities as law enforcement officials; and

WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers perform their duty in an ethical and impartial manner free from bias. Law enforcement is expected to steadfastly protect the human and civil rights of its citizens, uphold law and order, protect people and property, respond to emergency situations and calls of assistance, all the while maintaining public trust and confidence; and

WHEREAS, biased policing is defined as an act, intentional or unintentional, that is the basis of police action that inappropriately distinguishes people by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, age, or socio-economic status; and

WHEREAS, public trust and confidence can be easily destroyed if we let biased decision making control police behavior or to serve as a short cut in performing law enforcement duties; and

WHEREAS, hiring policies and practices are critical components in maintaining bias-free policing. A thorough and complete investigation of all candidates should be consistently conducted to find qualified candidates with indicators in their background that display traits of bias-free attitudes and an understanding of public service; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement training should be values-based with emphasis on ethics, respect, service, diversity, integrity, conflict resolution, courtesy, and communication within the cultural context of the community. Training is the responsibility of all instructors, supervisors, managers and administrators. Education in cultural and ethnic diversity should be emphasized throughout a law enforcement officer’s career; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement should develop systems of accountability that hold all personnel at each level of the organization responsible for their conduct related to biased policing; and

WHEREAS, the IACP recognizes that establishing agency accountability and taking appropriate corrective action when needed is a primary responsibility of the law enforcement chief executive; and

WHEREAS, when a community has expressed a concern and/or perception that bias policing is present, it is important for law enforcement to respond in a timely and meaningful way. Data collection and an objective analysis of data are important tools in understanding crime patterns and deployment of resources. Objective analysis of data can aid in understanding the nature and extent of biased policing which can also be used for accountability, future training and supervision; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, every law enforcement chief executive should review hiring eligibility requirements to ensure those standards are free of bias and do not exclude otherwise eligible candidates. Law enforcement agencies should develop a testing and evaluating component for potential recruits to identify any bias regarding race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic status; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP hereby commits its resources, energies and influence at all government levels to enhance trust and confidence between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP will educate and advise law enforcement agencies on constructive methods of eliminating prejudicial practices which erode the public trust and confidence in law enforcement; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP is committed to the belief that discrimination, biased policing, and racism have no place in law enforcement.



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