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Pillar 2 — Policy and Oversight

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EPPD Night to Unite 2019 imageIf police are to carry out their responsibilities according to established policies, these policies must be reflective of community values and not lead to practices that result in disparate impacts on various segments of the community. They also need to be clearly articulated to the community and implemented transparently so police will have credibility with residents and the people can have faith that their guardians are always acting in their best interests.

Paramount among the policies of law enforcement organizations are those controlling use of force. Not only should there be policies for deadly and non-deadly uses of force but a clearly stated “sanctity of life” philosophy must also be in the forefront of every officer’s mind. This way of thinking should be accompanied by rigorous practical ongoing training in an atmosphere of nonjudgmental and safe sharing of views with fellow officers about how they behaved in use of force situations.

Recommendation Description

Law enforcement agencies should collaborate with community members to develop policies and strategies in communities and neighborhoods disproportionately affected by crime for deploying resources that aim to reduce crime by improving relationships, greater community engagement, and cooperation.

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Law enforcement agencies should have comprehensive policies on the use of force that include training, investigations, prosecutions, data collection, and information sharing. These policies must be clear, concise, and openly available for public inspection.

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Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to implement non-punitive peer review of critical incidents separate from criminal and administrative investigations.

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Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to adopt identification procedures that implement scientifically supported practices that eliminate or minimize presenter bias or influence.

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All federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies should report and make available to the public census data regarding the composition of their departments including race, gender, age and other relevant demographic data.

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Law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to collect, maintain, and analyze demographic data on all detentions (stops, frisks, searches, summons, and arrests). This data should be disaggregated by school and non-school contacts.

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Law enforcement agencies should create policies and procedures for policing mass demonstrations that employ a continuum of managed tactical resources that are designed to minimize the appearance of a military operation and avoid using provocative tactics and equipment that undermine civilian trust.

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Some form of civilian oversight of law enforcement is important in order to strengthen trust with the community. Every community should define the appropriate form and structure of civilian oversight to meet the needs of that community.

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Law enforcement agencies and municipalities should refrain from practices requiring officers to issue a predetermined number of tickets, citations, arrests, or summonses, or to initiate investigative contacts with citizens for reasons not directly related to improving public safety, such as generating revenue.

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Law enforcement officers should be required to seek consent before a search and explain that a person has the right to refuse consent when there is no warrant or probable cause. Furthermore, officers should ideally obtain written acknowledgement that they have sought consent to a search in these circumstances.

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Law enforcement agencies should adopt policies requiring officers to identify themselves by their full name, rank, and command (as applicable) and provide that information in writing to individuals they have stopped. In addition, policies should require officers to state the reason for the stop and the reason for the search if one is conducted.

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Law enforcement agencies should establish search and seizure procedures related to LGBTQ and transgender populations and adopt as policy the recommendation from the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) to cease using the possession of condoms as the sole evidence of vice.


Law enforcement agencies should adopt and enforce policies prohibiting profiling and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation, or language fluency.

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How the Eden Prairie Police Department Demonstrates Policy and Oversight

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