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International Association of Chiefs of Police Publishes Guide for Police on Protecting Civil Rights

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

(Washington, DC) The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently released a new publication entitled, Protecting Civil Rights: A Leadership Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement.  The IACP, which is an organization of police administrators, seeks to advance professional law enforcement by providing research, training, and education to the law enforcement community. 

The guide, which was funded by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Community Policing Services (COPS), offers an overview of the challenges involved in protecting civil rights while carrying out law enforcement work.

In the guide, the IACP offers recommendations in the following areas:  developing an early intervention strategy, managing the citizen complaint process, managing use of force, personnel and data management, and addressing racial profiling.  In general, the group also points to adopting community policing strategies as the best way for law enforcement officers to both protect and promote civil rights.

In Washington, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has implemented significant changes to its use of force policies and tracking systems, undertaken a project to examine the possibility of biased policing or racial profiling in the District, and is implementing an early intervention system, among other things.  The Department has also made changes to its citizen complaint process, which, in addition to the Office of Police Complaints (OPC), provides citizens with an accessible and fair method of lodging complaints.

For additional information about IACP’s guide or to learn more about the work that has been done in Washington to enhance the protection of civil rights, please click on the links below: