Leadership for Educational and Organizational Advancement



Conquering Racial Profiling in Our Local Communities

Volume 2 Issue 12                  Article by Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.                              July, 2010

Teamwork between police personnel is the key to conquering racial profiling in our local communities.

Racial profiling results from targeting historically underserved people for police and security stops based on the belief that certain ethnic groups are more likely to commit certain crimes.

Police training has received most of the blame for racial profiling. However, training alone is not the blame for racial profiling. It is the individual belief systems of many police personnel that authenticate racial profiling.

Acceptance of racial profiling is the end result of racial discrimination that individuals witness and/or practice throughout their lives. Racial discrimination begins in early childhood and continues into adulthood.

Children learn about differences in race from their parents and in schools. For example when children learn about the different colors they eventually notice the different colors of the different races. I remember one day I was working in my front yard and my next door neighbor’s child screamed “Derrick is brown!” This child was in pre-kindergarten and was learning about differences in the color of people at a very subtle level.

As children transition through life and our education systems they learn about differences in race and culture. Oftentimes they embrace what they have learned through adulthood.

Many law enforcement personnel have transitioned through this same process.   

So when police personnel are presented with information that indicates that historically underserved individuals are more likely to commit crimes the police personnel involved in the training are more likely to believe the information because it does not contradict their individual belief system.

Enhancing erroneous police personal belief systems will require teamwork that is targeted at promoting positive racial and cultural relationships between police personnel and members of their local community.

The process includes:

·        Conducting a community analysis of racial profiling trends

·        Interviewing “selected” police personnel

·        Interviewing “selected” community members

·        Selecting specific police personnel to facilitate the transition

·        Developing a shared vision

·        Developing strategies that promote positive community relationships

·        Sharing and implementing strategies with the entire community


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