SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new police policy on racial profiling is emerging for Sacramento. This comes months after the State Department of Justice unleashed a critical report on how the department investigates complaints.
The new manual was just made public Tuesday on Sac PD’s website.
“If someone has a complaint about a police department we want to make sure that they are heard,” said Sgt. Vance Chandler. “Prior to this policy, many complaints were filed under inquiry so with this new update many of those same complaints will be investigated at a much higher level.”
Before, most citizen-reported issues were classified as inquiries and not complaints and were, therefore, per policy, not investigated. Now, those inquiries will be specifically categorized as racial profiling complaints and will not be lumped under the broad umbrella of discrimination.
“So we can receive a complaint on racial profiling and if we do that can be investigated by internal affairs,” said Sgt. Chandler.
Months ago, the Department of Justice issued a number of recommendations for the department when it came to policies, practices, and protocols. But the change also comes after Sacramento Police reported zero racial profiling complaints in 2018.
“We know the more that we can improve, the more that we can build trust in our community,” said Chandler.
With heightened tensions between police and some community groups that trust is critical right now.
“It’s a long time coming, and it’s been over a decade that NAACP has asked for police oversight,” said Betty Williams, President of the NAACP branch in Sacramento.
Williams said racial profiling has been under-reported for years.
“The fact that it took over a decade for just the category to be placed is astounding to me, frankly disappointing but I’m glad it’s finally there,” said Williams.
She adds that she’s hopeful this new way of collecting data will validate what’s really happening in Sacramento.
“I think Chief Hahn will see for himself who are the offenders. He’ll be able to track the offenders, the multiple offenders, that the NAACP already tracks. We know who the offenders are, now Chief Hahn will know,” said Williams.
Francine Tournour, Director of the Office Of Safety and Accountability says the perception of the community is a reality. She says they’re interested about how the community feels.
“We’re not hard set on the results of the complaints, but more so on the feelings of the community, and how they’re being policed,” said Tournour.