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Promoting Cooperative Strategies To Reduce Racial Profiling

NCJ Number
Jack McDevitt Ph.D.; Amy Farrell Ph.D.; Russell Wolff M.S.
Date Published
October 2008
86 pages
As part of the Federal Office of Community Oriented Policing’s (COPS Office’s) program entitled “Promote Cooperative Strategies to Reduce Racial Profiling” (PCSRRP), this report identifies a number of promising strategies that law enforcement agencies can use to identify, address, and prevent racial profiling in their agencies.
The U.S. Justice Department’s “A Resource Guide on Racial Profiling Data Collection Systems” defines “racial profiling” as “any police-initiated action that relies upon the race, ethnicity, or national origin of an individual rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity.” In promoting cooperative strategies to reduce racial profiling under the PCSRRP project, the COPS Office has focused on six main areas for intervention: recruitment and selection; training and education of police and community members; minority community engagement initiatives; accountability and supervision; collecting and analyzing traffic-stop data; and using technology to reduce racial profiling and increase officer safety. This report presents case studies of the major components of each project that has received grants under the PCSRRP program, using an evaluation methodology that describes and assesses the processes that agencies undertook to implement each grant program. One section of this report addresses funded program areas and major observations, with attention to accountability, recruitment and hiring, minority engagement, the use of technology, training, and data collection. This is followed by a section on the challenges of addressing racial profiling. It focuses on the following common themes across strategy areas: organizational “buy-in,” community involvement, managing technology and planning issues, and keeping the project’s focus. 35 references and a list of case-study participants