Surprise! DPD is maybe racially biased!

… well, that’s the word from the HR Commission which Bell tapped with investigating problems at the department.

The full report isn’t very long, and you can peruse the entire document here. The Commission wasn’t just tasked with identifying problems, they’ve also presented some potential remedies, which include:

  • Community outreach; this includes increasing attendance at PAC meetings and better PR response (no kidding)
  • Modified departmental policies; this includes a psych eval every three years for all officers and employees of the DPD and permanently running video cameras in vehicles (the latter of which is a personal favorite of yours truly).
  • Procedures surrounding stops and consent searches; these include better communication about the reasons for searches, review of the searches, and a requirement to get written consent from the subject.
  • Training; this includes implementing a Racial Equality training program for officers, additional training of new recruits, and extra training for officers who frequently work with the community.
  • Pot gets a specific callout; the commission recommends that the city investigate de-prioritizing marijuana arrests.
  • The Citizens Police Review board could get more teeth. This is a board that answers to citizens and reviews DPD issues (independent of internal affairs).
  • Online complaint forms! And they recommend that there should be a policy to respond to complaints.

Note that the Commission’s recommendations are just that, recommendations, and there’s no obligation for anybody to do anything with them.

EDIT: the Indy just published an article about this that’s worth a read.

Oh, and while we’re talking about the DPD, I thought I’d mention the case of the DPD uniform slash puppy thief:

Someone broke into a Durham police officer’s home Tuesday and stole the officer’s puppy, police uniform, Taser, work gear, jewelry and electronic items, police said Wednesday.

Seriously, check out that puppy. What kind of cold criminal would take such a cutie?

Although the DPD has since arrested the perp, the pooch presently remains on the prowl, so keep your eyes open and let the DPD know if you spot him, OK? Among other charges, the criminal is tapped with “felony larceny of a dog” – good luck explaining that one to your bunkmate in the slammer, buddy.

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