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State Board Looks To Public For Help Addressing Racial Profiling By Police

San Diego Police SWAT officers surround a house with a possible suspect insid...

Photo by Associated Press

Above: San Diego Police SWAT officers surround a house with a possible suspect inside, July 29, 2016.

The public can help shape an upcoming annual report that will include recommendations to address racial profiling by police. Community members are invited to weigh in Thursday as a state board subcommittee outlines a best practices guide on the local policies law enforcement agencies follow to prevent and address profiling.

The Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board subcommittee meeting is the last in a series of sessions that focus on various areas of policing, which the advisory board is required to assess in its reports each year. That includes identifying effective training programs and evaluating how departments handle citizen complaints.

Board Co-Chair Andrea Guerrero, who also leads the nonprofit Alliance San Diego, said the subcommittee is using prevention policies it collected from 118 California agencies and subject matter experts to inform its outline but hopes the community will contribute.

"We'll be talking about the building blocks of a best practice guide and we invite the public to share their thoughts on what should be in a best practice guide," Guerrero said.

The public may attend the 1 p.m. teleconference meeting at Alliance San Diego or other locations in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and Hanford.

A meeting of the full 19-member board to finalize the outlines for each section in the report is scheduled for Sept. 26 and can be viewed online. The board will produce a draft report that will be discussed at a later public meeting before issuing the final version in January 2019.

The report will be the board's second, but its most anticipated findings are still to come.

Per legislation that established the board 2015, the advisory body is also required to review racial and identity data that law enforcement agencies collect about people they approach for a potential violation or questioning. The law from Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, mandated officers track what they perceive is the race, ethnicity, age, gender, LGBT status, English proficiency and disability, if any, of those they stop.

RELATED: How One San Diego Agency Is Complying With Law To Combat Racial Profiling

The Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board will compare that information with the demographics of officers' patrol areas to identify if agents exhibit bias in the field. The data and findings will be published in the board's January 2020 report.

Data collection began in July for the state's eight largest agencies, including in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Francisco. They must upload the data to the state by April 2019, while smaller departments have more time to comply.

The state's Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board was created in 2015 and tasked with addressing any instances of bias exhibited by California law enforcement officers.


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