Policing in the United States has come under intense scrutiny following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest by the Minneapolis, Minnesota Police on May 25, 2020 and most recently following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, during an arrest by the Kenosha Wisconsin Police on August 23, 2020. These incidents reinvigorated concerns among large segments of the population and political leadership of systemic racism among the police forces of this country resulting in widespread nationwide protests, calls for “defunding” police, and legislative proposals to increase oversight and training of police and limit qualified immunity for police officers.
In this context, “systemic racism” means we are to believe most police departments in the Unites States employ a significant number of officers who espouse racist views and adopt discrimination and mistreatment of minorities, including in the use of force and decisions to stop, search, and arrest, as desired and appropriate behavior. This belief is not borne out by the facts. However, we do believe, as a reflection of society as a whole, that police departments, as other professions, employ an extremely small percentage of officers who espouse racist views or explicit racial bias and that unintentional discriminatory behavior occurs due to the effects of unconscious or implicit racial bias in the minds of well-intentioned and caring police officers.
Thus, we believe the discriminatory effects of implicit racial bias affect not only the police, but all social institutions including housing, healthcare, employment, and finance. The effects of bias are most pronounced in terms of harm to the individual when it impacts law enforcement activity and medical treatment. The incidents of bias when resulting from police activity tend to be the most visible to society and, when use of force is graphically depicted in video recordings, stirs the strongest emotional reactions of society. Even the proper use of force by police is disturbing for many to see. Not only do police departments need to train officers to respond to their own issues of racial bias, they must respond to the explicit and implicit racial bias of the community itself, in a phenomena we have termed, “bias by proxy.” A critical aspect of implicit bias is that departments are unaware of it and thus unable to properly deal with its deleterious effects.
Due to the severity of harm that results from racial bias by law enforcement both to the department and community including disruption in service to the community and loss of confidence in law enforcement, it is incumbent on each police department to evaluate their policies and procedures, training, stop, search, and arrest data, and effectiveness of supervision and accountability to determine if either explicit or implicit racial bias is occurring or conditions are present to allow it to occur and to have the ability stop effectively respond if it is occurring.
We are writing to offer your Department a comprehensive consulting and training program in Understanding, Identifying, and Preventing Biased Policing and Racial Profiling. This program is designed to:
- Evaluate your policy and procedure manual to identify any policies or procedures that may allow for racial bias, fail to prevent or fail to adequately respond to racial bias;
- Evaluate your existing stop, search and arrest data for indications of racial disparity;
- Provide advice on a stop, search and arrest data collection to automatically flag racial disparities, set statistical benchmarks for racial disparity and statistical thresholds for supervisory follow-up, and resolution of statistical analysis of suspected activity through in-depth analysis of officer specific activity;
- Provide a plan of progressive education and discipline for patterns of identified discriminatory enforcement and training for supervisors in use of the plan; and,
- Provide training program for all sworn officers in Understanding, Identifying, and Preventing Biased Policing and Racial Profiling.
The training program is designed to cover required training issues related to bias and racial profiling covered in the two pending police reforms bills, S. 2800, and H.4860 in Massachusetts.
Training and consulting services will be delivered by Tom Robbins and Peter DiDomenica
Tom Robbins is an attorney, former Colonel/Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, and former Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police for a major university in Massachusetts. As the Commandant of the Massachusetts State Police Academy and later as Colonel/Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, Tom directed and oversaw the creation of the agency’s biased policing and racial profiling training and traffic stop data collection programs. As the agency’s chief executive, Tom was a tireless advocate of fair and impartial policing responsible for is robust policies, training, and data analysis related to fair and impartial policing that made the State Police a leader in these efforts and which, to this day, are still serving the State Police and the community well. Tom’s extraordinarily successful ten-year leadership of university police force and all public safety functions of the university has given him a wealth of knowledge and experience in effective leadership in policing in higher education.
Peter DiDomenica is an attorney and former lieutenant with the Massachusetts State Police. As a member of the State Police, Peter designed and delivered the biased policing and racial profiling training program for the entire State Police starting in 2000 and designed its traffic stop data collection and analysis program used to identify and prevent discriminatory enforcement that is still used to the present time. In the early 2000’s Peter was a key member of Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) working groups that designed and delivered statewide training programs on biased policing and racial profiling. Peter also served as an accreditation manager for administering the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) and Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) police accreditation programs for a major university police department.
Please contact us for more information or with any questions or concerns.
Very truly yours,
Quantum Innovation Corporation