The NYCLU conducted an exhaustive inquiry into the policies of each police department. Through our interaction, we have found that the Irondequoit Police Department:
- Did not have a robust policy related to bias-based policing or racial profiling. Instead, the Department had a single paragraph in a broader policy on “Professional Conduct and Responsibilities” prohibiting officers from expressing “any prejudice concerning race, religion, politics, national origin, lifestyle, or similar personal characteristics.”
- Produced a policy and a few training materials related to interacting with people with disabilities, but these materials provided little useful guidance on recognizing and responding to specific mental health concerns outside the context of making “mental hygiene arrests.”
- Produced some basic training materials on communication de-escalation, but only in the context of interactions with people in emotional distress. De-escalation could be better integrated into the department’s use of force policies. These policies discuss various levels of force but could better emphasize the need to use the minimum amount of force necessary only after attempting to de-escalate the encounter.
- Gave officers detailed information on the procedures for carrying out traffic stops, but included no real discussion of the legal standards they must follow.
Policy Spotlight: Bias-Based Policing
Unchecked police abuse of vulnerable communities, especially communities of color, are at the heart of the nationwide movement for police accountability. Biased policing erodes trust between police and communities, weakens public safety, and can lead to constant violations of people’s constitutional rights to be free from discrimination. Prohibiting officers from expressing prejudicial views is one small element of a policy on bias-based policing, but it is by no means sufficient. Police department policies need to embrace clear commitments to the prevention and elimination of bias. Departments must have policies that prohibit differential treatment by officers motivated by factors like a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or housing status. And once these policies are in place, department leaders need to hold officers who engage in bias-based practices accountable.
You can learn more about the policies by clicking the cards below.
Documents received by January 2016