Racial Profiling Policy
The purpose of the policy is to reaffirm the Quinlan ISD Police Department’s commitment to unbiased policing in all its encounters between officers and any person; to reinforce procedures that serve to ensure public confidence and mutual trust through the provision of services in a fair and equitable fashion; and to protect our officers from unwarranted accusations of misconduct when they act within the dictates of departmental policy and the law. This policy is adopted in compliance with the requirements of Articles 2.131 through 2.136, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
It is the policy of this department to police in a proactive manner and to aggressively investigate suspected violations of law. Officers shall actively enforce state and federal laws in a responsible and professional manner, without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin. Officers are strictly prohibited from engaging in racial profiling as defined in this policy. This policy shall be applicable to all persons, whether drivers, passengers or pedestrians.
Officers shall conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public. Two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by both the United States and Texas constitutions are equal protection under the law and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. The right of all persons to be treated equally and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be respected. Racial profiling is an unacceptable patrol tactic and will not be condoned.
This policy shall not preclude officers from offering assistance, such as upon observing a substance leaking from a vehicle, a flat tire, or someone who appears to be ill, lost or confused. Nor does this policy prohibit stopping someone suspected of a crime based upon observed actions and/or information received about the person.
- Racial Profiling: means a law enforcement-initiated action based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual’s behavior or on information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity. Racial profiling pertains to persons who are viewed as suspects or potential suspects of criminal behavior. The term is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses, complainants, persons needing assistance, or other citizen contacts.
- Race or Ethnicity: means of a particular descent, including Caucasian, African, Hispanic,
Asian, or Native American descent.
- Acts Constituting Racial Profiling: are acts initiating law enforcement action, such as a traffic
stop, a detention, a search, issuance of a citation, or an arrest based solely upon an individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin or on the basis of racial or ethnic stereotypes, rather than upon the individual’s behavior, information identifying the individual as having possibly engaged in criminal activity, or other lawful reasons for the law enforcement action.
- Pedestrian Stop: means an interaction between a peace officer and an individual who is being detained for the purposes of a criminal investigation in which the individual is not under arrest.
- Traffic Stop: means the stopping of a motor vehicle by a peace officer for an alleged violation of law or ordinance regulating traffic.
Officers are responsible to adhere to all Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer
Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) training and the Law Enforcement Management Institute of
Texas (LEMIT) requirements as mandated by law.
All officers shall complete a TCLEOSE training and education program on racial profiling not later than the second anniversary of the date the officer is licensed under Chapter 1701 of the Texas
Occupations Code or the date the officer applies for an intermediate proficiency certificate, whichever date is earlier. A person who on September 1, 2001, held a TCLEOSE intermediate proficiency certificate, or who had held a peace officer license issued by TCLEOSE for at least two years, shall complete a TCLEOSE training and education program on racial profiling not later than September 1, 2003.
The chief of police, as part of the initial training and continued education for such appointment, will be required to attend the LEMIT program on racial profiling. An individual appointed or elected as a police chief before the effective date of this Act shall complete the program on racial profiling established under Subsection (j), Section 96.641, Education Code, as added by this Act, not later than September 1, 2003.
- COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION
- Any person who believes that a peace officer employed by the Quinlan ISD has engaged in racial profiling with respect to that person may file a complaint with the Department.
- No person shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced from filing such a complaint, nor shall they be discriminated against because he or she has filed such a complaint.
- The Department shall accept and investigate citizen complaints alleging racial profiling by its peace officers.
- Complaints may be made to any peace officer employed by the Quinlan ISD Police
Department and shall be in writing and should include the time, place, and details of the incident of alleged racial profiling, the identity or description of the peace officer or officers involved, and the identity and manner of contacting the complainant.
- Any peace officer who receives a citizen complaint alleging racial profiling shall forward the complaint to the Chief of Police as soon as is practicable, but in no event any later than 72 hours of receipt of the complaint. The officer investigating the complaint shall acknowledge his or her receipt of same to the complainant in writing. All such complaints shall be reviewed and investigated by the Department within a reasonable period of time, and the results of the review and investigation shall be filed with the Chief of Police. The findings of the investigation as well as any corrective action which is taken shall be provided in writing to the complainant and to the officer alleged to have engaged in racial profiling.
- In investigating a complaint alleging racial profiling, the Department shall seek to determine if the officer who is subject of the complaint has engaged in a pattern of racial profiling that includes multiple acts constituting racial profiling for which there is no reasonable, credible explanation based on established police and law enforcement procedures.
- The Chief of Police shall, upon commencement of the investigation of the complaint and upon written request of the officer who is the subject of the complaint, promptly provide a copy of the video or audio recording of the occurrence on which the complaint is based to that officer.
- CORRECTIVE ACTION
Any peace officer who is found, after investigation, to have engaged in racial profiling in violation of this policy shall be subject to corrective action, which may include reprimand; diversity, sensitivity or other appropriate training or counseling; paid or unpaid suspension; termination of employment; or other appropriate action as determined by the Chief of Police.
VII. PUBLIC EDUCATION
This department will inform the public of its policy against racial profiling and the complaint process. Methods that may be utilized to inform the public are the news media, radio, service or civic presentations, the Internet, as well as governing board meetings. Additionally, information will be made available as appropriate in languages other than English.
VIII. CITATION DATA COLLECTION & REPORTING
An officer is required to collect information relating to traffic stops in which a citation is issued or an arrest is made. Officers must record the following information for each such traffic stop:
- the violator’s race or ethnicity;
- whether a search was conducted;
- was the search consensual; and
- whether an arrest was made for the cited violation or any other violation.
The department shall submit a report annually to the School Board that includes the information gathered by the citations and arrest reports generated as a result of traffic or pedestrian stops from the preceding calendar year. The report will include:
- a breakdown of citations issued and/or arrests made by race or ethnicity;
- the number of citations issued and/or arrests made that resulted in a search;
- the number of searches that were consensual; and
- the number of citations that resulted in custodial arrest for the cited violation or any other violation.
- USE OF VIDEO AND AUDIO EQUIPMENT
Each motor vehicle regularly used by this department to make traffic and pedestrian stops shall be equipped with a video camera and transmitter-activated equipment; or each officer will be equipped with an approved body camera. Each traffic and pedestrian stop made by an officer of this department that is capable of being recorded by video and audio, or audio, as appropriate, shall be recorded.
This department shall retain the video and audiotapes of each traffic and pedestrian stop for at least ninety (90) days after the date of the stop. If a complaint is filed with this department alleging that one of its’ officers has engaged in racial profiling with respect to a traffic or pedestrian stop, this department shall retain the video and audiotapes, or the audiotape of the stop until final disposition of the complaint.