The purpose of this policy is to reaffirm the Central Texas College Police Departments 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 department policy and law.
This Racial Profiling Policy is adopted in compliance with the requirements of Articles 2.131 through 2.136, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits Texas Peace officers from engaging in racial profiling. 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 will 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.
- 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.
Peace officers of the Central Texas College District are strictly prohibited from engaging in racial profiling. 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 suspect or witness 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:
- Citing a driver who is speeding in a stream of traffic where most other drivers are speeding because of the cited drivers race, ethnicity or national origin
- Detaining the driver of a vehicle based on the determination that a person of that race, ethnicity or national origin is unlikely to own or posses that specific make or model of vehicle.
- Stopping a pedestrian strictly because of his race, ethnicity or national origin based on the determination that that person could not own or reside in a particular area of the town or city.
A law enforcement agency can derive at two principles from the adoption of this policy of Racial Profiling:
- Police may not use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search, while police may use race in conjunction with other known factors of the suspect.
- Law enforcement officers may not use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search. Racial profiling is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses, etc.
Any person who believes that a peace officer employed by the Central Texas College District has engaged in racial profiling with respect to that person may file a complaint with the College, and no person shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced from filing such a complaint, or be discriminated against because they have filed such complaint.
Central Texas College District shall accept and investigate citizen complaints alleging racial profiling by its peace officers. Such complaints shall be in writing, or the college employee, officer, or official receiving the complaint should reduce the same to 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, college employee, or college official who receives a citizen complaint alleging racial profiling shall forward the complaint to the Chief of Police or other investigative authority designated by the Chief of Police within 12 hours of receipt of the complaint. All such complaints shall be reviewed and investigated by the Chief of Police or other investigative authority within a reasonable period of time, and the results of such review and investigation shall be provided to the complainant, the Police Department and to the Director of Human Resource Management.
In investigating a complaint alleging racial profiling, the Chief of Police or the investigative authority designated by the Chief of Police 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. A single act constituting racial profiling may not be considered a pattern of racial profiling, and shall not be grounds for corrective action.
In the event that a complaint of racial profiling filed by an individual involves an occurrence that was recorded on audio or video, the Chief of Police or the investigative authority designated by the Chief of Police shall, upon commencement of the investigation of the complaint and upon written request of the officer, promptly provide a copy of the recording to the peace officer that is a subject of the complaint.
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; termination of employment, or other appropriate action as determined by the Chief of Police or the College Administration.
The police department of the Central Texas College District shall provide education to the public concerning the racial profiling 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.
Collection of Information
For each traffic/pedestrian stop in which a citation is issued and for each arrest resulting from such traffic/pedestrian stops, a peace officer involved in the stop shall collect information identifying the race or ethnicity of the person detained, stating whether a search was conducted, and if a search was conducted, whether the person detained consented to the search; and whether the peace officer knew the race or ethnicity of the individual detained before detaining that individual.
The information collected shall be compiled in an annual report covering the period January 1 through December 31 of each year, and shall be submitted to the governing body of the Central Texas College District and also to the Texas Department of Public Safety no later than March 1 of the following year. The annual report shall not include identifying information about any individual stopped or arrested, and shall not include identifying information about any peace officer involved in a stop or arrest.
Video and Audio Equipment
Each motor vehicle regularly used by this department to make traffic and pedestrian stops is equipped with a video camera and transmitter-activated equipment.
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 will be recorded and a written record of the stop documented on a Central Texas College Police Department Traffic/Pedestrian Stop Checklist.
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 a peace officer of the Central Texas College District 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.
In reviewing audio and video recordings, the Chief of Police or the investigative authority designated by the Chief of Police shall seek to determine if the officer who is involved therein 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. A single act constituting racial profiling may not be considered a pattern of racial profiling, and shall not be grounds for corrective action.
Supervisors will ensure that officers of the Central Texas College police department are recording their traffic and pedestrian stops. Supervisors shall periodically conduct reviews of a randomly-selected sampling of video and audio recordings made recently by peace officers employed by the Central Texas College District in order to determine if patterns of racial profiling exist. A recording of each officer will be reviewed at least once every ninety (90) days.
NOTE: 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 report the malfunction to his/her supervisor and manually collect data and properly record and report the information as required by this policy and Article 2.133, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Each peace officer employed by the Central Texas College District shall complete the comprehensive education and training program on racial profiling established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) not later than the second anniversary of the date the officer was licensed, the date the officer applies for an intermediate proficiency certificate, whichever date is earlier. A person who on September 1st, 2001, held a TCOLE intermediate proficiency certificate, or who had held a peace officer license issued by TCOLE for at least two years, shall complete a TCOLE training and education program on racial profiling not later than September 1st, 2003.
The Chief of Police shall, in completing the training required by Section 96.641, Texas Education Code, complete the program on racial profiling established by the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas.