NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- A racial bias audit of the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) has concluded and the findings were released to the public on Friday.
Beginning in March, independent agency CNA conducted an assessment of NCPD’s policies and practices with a particular focus on assessing racially biased practices and procedures. The agency examined six key areas of the police department: law enforcement operations, community-oriented policing practices, complaints, recruitment and hiring, training, and oversight and accountability.
The assessment resulted in 67 findings and 128 recommendations which CNA says is typical for the size of the department.
In the report, CNA acknowledged the role of community input in conducting this audit and said the most common concerns brought to their attention by the public were differing enforcement practices, a lack of community engagement, accountability and training issues, difficulty interacting with Spanish-speaking populations, and personnel concerns.
Here are a few key findings from the report and the solutions offered by CNA:
- NCPD’s School Resource Officer Program has room to improve to better serve the youth of the North Charleston community
Proposed remedies: School resource officers should hold sessions with youth and their parents to ensure they understand the role and responsibilities of officers in schools and create opportunities for youth to engage with school resource officers while they are not in uniform.
- NCPD lacks proper translation services and information for Spanish-speaking residents in the community.
Proposed remedy: NCPD should hire bilingual professionals and American Sign Language intepretators to cover each shift so that officers have proper translation support in the field.
- Members of the North Charleston community have expressed a desire to better understand the roles, responsibilities, policies, practices, and operations of the department
Proposed remedies: NCPD should hold community sessions that allow the public to listen to the department discuss various policing practices like traffic stops, driving laws, criminal investigations, and the complaints process. CNA also suggests NCPD add a page to their website with similar information.
- NCPD’s officers have not been consistently trained in topics of critical importance for 21st century policing
Proposed remedies: NCPD should ensure all officers recieve new hire training and annual refresher training in implicit bias, racial bias in policing, cultural sensitivity, constitutional policing, procedural justice, history of race in America, immersion into the community and communities of color, communication skills, and civil rigths.
The full report is now available online and you can read it here.