Racial Profiling Policy
The purpose of this policy is to clearly state that racial and ethnic profiling in law enforcement are totally unacceptable, to provide guidelines for officers to prevent such occurrences, and to reinforce procedures that serve to ensure public confidence and mutual trust through the provision of services in a fair and equitable fashion, and to protect our officers from unwarranted accusations when they act within the dictates of the law and Department policy.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees that all citizens will have equal protection under the law and will be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Citizens are free to walk and drive our streets, highways, and other public places without police interference so long as they obey the law. This department is charged with protecting these rights, for all, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, physical handicap, religion or other belief system. Officers shall conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public.
Because of the nature of their business, law enforcement officers are required to be observant, to identify unusual occurrences and law violations, and to act upon them. It is this proactive enforcement that keeps our citizens free from crime, our streets and highways safe to drive upon, and that detects and apprehends criminals. Officers shall actively enforce city ordinances, state and federal laws in a responsible and professional manner, without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin. Officers are strictly prohibited from engaging in racial profiling as defined by this policy. This policy shall be applicable to all persons, whether drivers, passengers or pedestrians.
Racial Profiling:A law enforcement-initiated action based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual’s behavior or on information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity. The term is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses, complainants, persons needing assistance or other citizens contacts.
The prohibition against racial profiling does not preclude the use of race, ethnicity, or national origin as factors in a detention decision by a police officer. Race, ethnicity, or national origin may be legitimate factors in such a decision when used as part of a description of a suspect or witness for whom a police officer is searching.
Reasonable suspicion:Also known as articulate suspicion. Suspicion that is more than mere speculation, but is based on a set of articulate facts and circumstances that would warrant a reasonable person to believe that a violation of the law has been committed, is about to be committed, or is in the process of being committed, by the person or persons under suspicion. This can be based on the observations of a police officer combined with his or her training and experience, and/or reliable information received from credible outside sources.
Criminal Profiling:An investigative method in which an officer, through observation of activities and environment, identifies suspicious persons and develops a legal basis to stop them for questioning.
Filing a Complaint
A person wishing to file a complaint should first contact a supervisor at the Sunnyvale Police Department. The supervisor will explain the complaint process, which requires a signed letter of complaint verifying that it is not a fictitious letter that has been signed with a fictitious name. Citizens who wish to file a complaint of racial profiling may do so up to ninety (90)days following the incident. Once the complaint has been received and processed a supervisor will contact the complainant and explain the investigatory process.
Sunnyvale Police Department
364 Long Creek Road
Sunnyvale, Texas 75182