Police Chief Wayne Scott Offers Departmental Actions Related to Racial Disparities

"GREENSBORO, NC (October 28, 2015) –  Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott provides the following in follow up to community concerns and questions raised regarding the recent New York Times article highlighting racial disparities in policing in Greensboro.

“I want to reassure the Greensboro community that I and the entire police department remain very concerned by the data and information shared in this week’s New York Times article about racial disparities. The police department consists of hard working men and women who are required to act within the law and abide by a code of conduct and policies that specifically prohibit racial profiling (see attached). Clearly there is information that tells us problems and discrepancies exist and my staff and I are working to better understand the causes and to make appropriate changes to improve police interactions in our community.

The data revealed by the New York Times and information released by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill paints a complex and troubling picture. Prior to the release of that information, my team was working with consultants at North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to analyze our local data. I felt it was a needed step to help us better understand the causes and to help shape and inform future departmental policy and practice enhancements.

At this time, I’m expecting to have the results of our research in January. I plan to openly share the results with our entire community and will also ask for the assistance of my faith leadership council and bias-based policing committee to help our department plan and implement improvements.

As officers, we are always mindful of the value Greensboro residents place in us to perform our duties professionally and with utmost integrity. That’s why we strive to exercise sound discretion and conduct in the daily execution of activities including traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, field interviews, and asset/forfeiture seizures. It’s also why we consistently review our code of conduct and bias-based policing directives to remind our officers of their intended purposes and application and to reinforce departmental accountability. When officers fall short in those areas, they are held accountable.

Strengthening police relationships and trust within the community remains a top priority of mine. We’re continuing to review the strategies that I launched when I became Chief in April. They are designed to help us become a better police department that is a national model for exceptional policing through our commitment to excellence, selfless public service, and effective community partnerships.  Meanwhile, in the coming weeks, I will announce a series of additional measures designed to aid the department in better connecting with the community we serve.

I again want to reassure the community that I take these matters very seriously and I will continue to openly share information in our follow-up on this and other important policing topics. We will also continue to be sensitive in our interactions, open-minded, good listeners, and focused on best meeting the needs of our community. Most importantly, we will work to build trust by acknowledging and embracing change if it means we will grow stronger together as a department and a city.”"

- A Press Release

No comments: