The purpose of the policy is to reaffirm the Brookhaven College Police Department’s commitment to unbiased policing in all its encounters between officer 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.
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 – 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 or other citizen contacts.
The prohibition against racial profiling does not preclude the use of race, ethnicity or national origin as factors in a detention decision. Race, ethnicity or national origin may be legitimate factors in a detention decision when used as part of an actual description of a specific suspect for whom an officer is searching. Detaining an individual and conducting an inquiry into that person’s activities simply because of that individual’s race, ethnicity or national origin is racial profiling. Examples of racial profiling include but are not limited to the following:
A law enforcement agency can derive at two principles from the adoption of this definition of racial profiling:
Race or Ethnicity – Of a particular decent, including Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.
Pedestrian Stop – An interaction between a peace officer and an individual who is being detained for the purpose of a criminal investigation in which the individual is not under arrest.
Traffic Stop – A peace officer who stops a motor vehicle for an alleged violation of a 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.
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.
An officer is required to collect information relating to traffic stops in which a citation is issued. On the citation officers must include:
By March of each year, the department shall submit a report to their governing board that includes the information gathered by the citations. The report will include:
Not later than March 1st of each year, this department shall submit a report to our governing body containing this information from the preceding calendar year.
Peace officers and this department are exempt from the compilation, analysis and reporting requirements in Section A above if during the calendar year before the date that a report under Section A above is due:
This department shall retain the video and audiotapes, or the audiotape 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 our 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.
Supervisors will ensure officers of this department are recording their traffic and pedestrian stops. Random viewing of each officer(s) video recordings will be reviewed at least once every semester. If the equipment used to record audio and/or video of traffic or pedestrian stops is malfunctioning or otherwise not operable, the officer making the stop shall properly record and report the information as required in Section A above.