Bias Based Policing

Bias-Based Policing - Policy 401

Purpose & Scope

This policy provides guidance to department members that affirms the Forest Grove Police Department 's commitment to policing that is fair and objective (ORS 131.920).

Nothing in this policy prohibits the use of specified characteristics in law enforcement activities designed to strengthen the department's relationship with its diverse communities (e.g., cultural and ethnicity awareness training, youth programs, community group outreach, partnerships).

See the Personnel Complaints Policy regarding acceptance of complaints alleging profiling and investigation of such complaints.

401.1.1 Definitions

  • Definitions related to this policy include:
  • Bias-based policing - An inappropriate reliance on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, economic status, homelessness, age, cultural group, disability, political affiliation or affiliation with any non-criminal group (protected characteristics) as the basis for providing differing law enforcement service or enforcement. This includes profiling as defined by ORS 131.915.

401.2 Policy

  • The Forest Grove Police Department is committed to providing law enforcement services to the community with due regard for the racial, cultural or other differences of those served. It is the policy of this department to provide law enforcement services and to enforce the law equally, fairly, objectively and without discrimination toward any individual or group.

401.3 Bias-Based Policing Prohibited

  • Bias-based policing is strictly prohibited.
  • However, nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit an officer from considering protected characteristics in combination with credible, timely and distinct information connecting a person or people of a specific characteristic to a specific unlawful incident, or to specific unlawful incidents, specific criminal patterns or specific schemes.

401.4 Member Responsibilities

  • Every member of this department shall perform his/her duties in a fair and objective manner and is responsible for promptly reporting any suspected or known instances of bias-based policing to a supervisor. Members should, when reasonable to do so, intervene to prevent any biased-based actions by another member.

401.4.1 Reason for Contact

  • Officers contacting a person shall be prepared to articulate sufficient reason for the contact, independent of the protected characteristics of the individual.
  • To the extent that written documentation would otherwise be completed (e.g., arrest report, Field Interview (FI) card), the involved officer should include those facts giving rise to the contact, as applicable.
  • Except for required data-collection forms or methods, nothing in this policy shall require any officer to document a contact that would not otherwise require reporting.

401.4.2 Reporting Traffic & Pedestrian Stops

  • Each time an officer makes an officer-initiated traffic or pedestrian stop, the officer shall record the required stop data in the method and manner prescribed by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (OCJC) (ORS 131.935).

401.5 Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Supervisors should monitor those individuals under their command for compliance with this policy and shall handle any alleged or observed violations in accordance with the Personnel Complaints Policy.
  • Supervisors should discuss any issues with the involved officer and his/her supervisor in a timely manner.
    • Supervisors should document these discussions, in the prescribed manner.
  • Supervisors should periodically review Mobile Audio/Video (MAV) recordings, portable audio/video recordings, Mobile Data Computer (MDC) data and any other available resource used to document contact between officers and the public to ensure compliance with this policy.
    • Supervisors should document these periodic reviews.
    • Recordings that capture a potential instance of bias-based policing should be appropriately retained for administrative investigation purposes.
  • Supervisors shall initiate investigations of any actual or alleged violations of this policy.
  • Supervisors should take prompt and reasonable steps to address any retaliatory action taken against any member of this department who discloses information concerning bias-based policing.

401.6.1 State Reporting to Law Enforcement Contacts Policy & Data Review Committee

The Administrative Division Captain shall annually provide Law Enforcement Contacts Policy and Data Review Committee (LECC) the following (ORS 131.925):

  • Copies of profiling complaints received by the Department.
  • A summary of each profiling complaint received by the Department and the final disposition of the profiling complaint on the appropriate Department of State Police (DSP) form.
    • This form is to be submitted even if no profiling complaints were received by the Department.
  • Summaries of complaints and copies of complaints provided to LECC may not include personal information concerning the complainant or an officer except as to any personal information on the DSP form (ORS 131.925).
  • The Records Division should provide LECC, upon request, data regarding stops or contacts as identified in ORS 131.906(5). Data provided may not identify an officer or an individual whose demographic data is collected (ORS 131.906).

401.6.2 State Reporting to Oregon Criminal Justice Commission

  • The Records Division shall provide the OCJC with traffic and pedestrian stop data annually as prescribed by ORS 131.935.
  • Data may not include information that reveals the identity of any stopped individual or of any officer (ORS 131.935).

401.7 Administration

  • The Operations Division Commander should review the efforts of the Department to provide fair and objective policing and submit an annual report, including public concerns and complaints, to the Chief of Police. The annual report should not contain any identifying information about any specific complainant, citizen, or officers. It should be reviewed by the Chief of Police to identify any changes in training or operations that should be made to improve service.
  • Supervisors should review the annual report and discuss the results with those they are assigned to supervise.

401.8 Training

  • Training on fair and objective policing and review of this policy should be conducted as directed by the Training Manager.

401.8.1 Department of Public Safety Standards & Training

  • The Training Manager should ensure that officers receive training implemented by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training regarding procedures to facilitate the collection of officer-initiated traffic and pedestrian stop data (ORS 131.935).