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Policy: Biased Policing

PDFJanuary 23, 2015
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Department Policy

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Police policy on biased policing outlining procedures, considerations, training, corrective measures and administrative review.


Find below complete policy content or download the official directive


It is generally recognized that profiling, when conducted in accordance with established legal precedent, can be an effective law enforcement strategy; however, biased policing falls outside the scope of what is legal and ethical and is uniformly rejected as an appropriate law enforcement activity.

Members of the Police Division strive to serve the community with honor, professionalism, commitment, compassion, and accountability. Biased policing is inconsistent with these ideals, and enforcing the law equally; therefore, biased policing is prohibited.


Biased Policing – The inappropriate selection of individuals based on a common trait of a group, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, culture, or age.


A. Members shall not consider race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, culture, or age in carrying out law enforcement activities except when credible, locally relevant, and timely information links a person or people of a specific race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, culture or age to specific unlawful incidents, criminal patterns, or schemes.

B. It is biased policing if a members actions are based on the fact that the individual’s race is different from the race of the majority of residents in the area in which the individual is found.

C. This restriction on the use of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or identity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, culture, or age does not apply to law enforcement activities designed to strengthen the Divisions relationship with its diverse communities.

The Commander, Training shall ensure that training in biased policing issues (including legal aspects) and cultural diversity issues are provided regularly to each Basic Police Academy and, at a minimum, biennially during in-service training.

A. Supervisors shall ensure that all personnel under their command are familiar with the content of this policy and are operating in compliance. Supervisors are responsible for being alert to any language or conduct indicating bias.

B. If biased policing occurs, the member found to be in violation shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary options described in 400, Discipline, and may be subject to remedial training.

A. The Major, Support Services may request input from Division staff members to address any new issues or areas of concern in our policies, procedures, and practices.

B. The Major, Support Services shall ensure a documented annual administrative review of agency practices, including citizen concerns, concerning biased policing is completed no later than February 15th each year and submitted to the Chief of Police. At a minimum, this review shall include:

1. An analysis of citizen complaints and/or comments received regarding biased policing; and
2. An overview of training conducted; and
3. Recommendations, if any, for changes in Division policies, procedures, and practices.

C. The Major, Support Services shall maintain this review according to the Library of Virginia Retention Schedule.


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Henrico, VA 23294

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Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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