Racial Profiling

Definitions

Racial profiling
is a law enforcement-initiated action based solely 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. The term is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses, complainants, persons needing assistance, 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 by a police officer. Race, ethnicity, or national origin may be legitimate factors in such a decision when used as part of a description of a suspect or witness for whom a police officer is searching.

Reasonable suspicion, also known as articulable suspicion, is a suspicion that is more than a mere hunch, but is based on a set of articulable facts and circumstances that would warrant a person of reasonable caution in believing that an infraction of the law has been committed, is about to be committed, or is in the process of being committed, by the person or persons under suspicion. This can be based on the observations of a police officer combined with his or her training and experience, and/or reliable information received from credible outside sources.

Criminal profiling is an investigative method in which an officer, through observation of activities and environment, identifies suspicious people and develops a legal basis to stop them for questioning.

Weatherford Police Department's Racial Profiling Policy

Purpose
The purpose of this Weatherford Police Department policy is to unequivocally state that racial and ethnic profiling in law enforcement are totally unacceptable, to provide guidelines for officers to prevent such occurrences, and 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 when they act within the dictates of the law and Department policy.
A fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to all who live in this nation is to equal protection under the law. Along with this right to equal protection is the fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. Citizens are free to walk and drive our streets, highways, and other public places without police interference so long as they obey the law. They are also entitled to be free from crime, and from the depredations of criminals, and to drive and walk our public ways safe from the actions of reckless and careless drivers.


This department is charged with protecting these rights, for all, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, physical handicap, religion or other belief system. Officers shall conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public.

Because of the nature of their business, law enforcement officers are required to be observant, to identify unusual occurrences and law violations, and to act upon them. It is the proactive enforcement that keeps our citizens free from crime, our streets and highways safe to drive upon, and that detects and apprehends criminals. Officers shall actively enforce city ordinances, 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 by this policy. This policy shall be applicable to all persons, whether drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

Prohibition
Police Officers of the City of Weatherford are strictly prohibited from engaging in racial profiling.

Racial Profiling Complaint Process
Any person who believes that a police officer employed by the City has engaged in racial profiling with respect to that person may file a complaint with the City, and no person shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced from filing such a complaint, or be discriminated against because they have filed such a complaint.

How to File a Complaint
A person wishing to file a complaint should first contact a supervisor at the Weatherford Police Department. The supervisor will give you a Weatherford Police Department Personnel Complaint Form. If you are unable to come to the Weatherford Police Department, a form will be mailed to you.
Complaints of misconduct must be filed within thirty days of the occurrence.


You are required to submit a complaint form with your signature. A notarized form is preferred but not required.

An investigation of the complaint will be conducted as thoroughly as possible.
The Weatherford Police Department is dedicated to providing exceptional service to its employees and citizens. Police employees are carefully selected, held to the highest standards, and provided with the best training available.

We are interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking immediate action when our employees have proven derelict in their duties, or are guilty of wrongdoing. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.
 
For Additional Information
Please contact Weatherford Police Department's on-duty supervisor at 817-598-4310.