Governments and Law Enforcement agencies have a responsibility to respond to the concerns of the citizens which they serve. Additionally, these entities must proactively act upon the threat of, or respond to litigation from citizen elements that allege racial profiling activities. To do this effectively, governments and law enforcement agencies must identify whether racial profiling is occurring, develop mitigation practices to ensure it does not occur, and work with communities to educate them about the conduct and practices of their officers.
Identifying if racial profiling is occurring is the critical first step for governments and law enforcement agencies in addressing the issue. The method for analyzing the issue is as straightforward as the implementation is complex. Existing stop data must be compared against a benchmark of the traffic population. To conduct these analyses police departments must collect stop data that includes information such as race, ethnicity, location of stop, time of stop, etc. The benchmark traffic population must also be measured, and identifier information such as race, ethnicity, location etc. collected. Finally, the data must be compared using statistical measures that are objective and quantifiable.
Secondly, governments and departments must engage in targeted, appropriate deterrence activities. For departments where the problem is systemic, this may mean delivering a Preventing Biased Police Practices curriculum, analyzing and changing incentive and reward policies and procedures, and disciplining or eliminating high-risk officers. In other departments, mitigation activities may simply include seminars or training on public perception, and how best to educate and avoid misunderstanding by the public.
To adequately respond to public perception, governments and law enforcement agencies must communicate with community leaders about the actions they are taking to address the issue, and the results they find. In the best scenario, communities should be enlisted to help develop solutions to addressing public concern, or to provide feedback on department activities.