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Maintenance of public trust and confidence in the police are critical to effective policing and are achieved largely through fair and equitable treatment of the public. This is a basic requirement of law enforcement and the right of all persons in our society.
The Pensacola Police Department prohibits biased policing as a law enforcement tactic and will not tolerate or condone its use by any member.
Biased policing is defined as the inappropriate consideration of specified characteristics while enforcing the law or providing police services. Specified characteristics include, but are not limited to, race, ethnic background, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, age, disability, political status, or any other legally protected characteristics. Biased policing is considered antonymous with “un-biased policing,” “fair and impartial policing” and “bias-free policing.”
However, criminal profiling is a legitimate law enforcement tool. It is an investigative method by which an officer, through observation of activities and environment, identifies suspicious behavior by individuals and develops a legal basis, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, to detain and question.
Any person may file a complaint with the department if they believe they have been stopped or searched based on biased policing. No person shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced from filing such a complaint.