NAACP Task Force makes recommendations on Biased Policing Project RFP
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NAACP Task Force makes recommendations on Biased Policing Project RFP

[Note: GLAA is represented on the NAACP-DC Police Task Force and participated in the review of the Metropolitan Police Department's draft Request for Proposals for its Biased Policing Project, which will address illegal profiling by police officers in the District. The following letter to Chief Charles Ramsey by Task Force Chair Mark Thompson reflects input from GLAA, ACLU/NCA, the National Black Police Association, and others.]


VIA E-MAIL

Charles Ramsey Chief of Police
Metropolitan Police Department
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

September 5, 2001

Dear Chief Ramsey:

As promised, the following reflects the concerns of members of the NAACP Metropolitan Police & Criminal Review Task Force after reviewing the RFP for the Biased Policing Project. We appreciate your willingness to meet with us, and to share the vision of MPD with regards to preventing racial profiling. We generally approve of the RFP's content and approach. Here are a few amendments that we think would make it even better.

Background

The first sentence should clearly spell out all forms of discrimination as contained in the DC Human Rights Law and the enabling legislation of the Office of Citizen Complaint Review. Unlike other jurisdictions, the District makes every effort in these aforementioned pieces of legislation to leave little room for conjecture as to what forms of discrimination are intolerable. This language and the spirit of this language should be included in the RFP and in any and all documents relative to the Biased Policing Project: "...without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, and place of residence of business." Perhaps a sentence defining biased policing might include these categories.

The second paragraph suggests a "local" contractor, but even in our conversation last week we spoke of national organizations that may respond to the RFP. Perhaps we should not limit ourselves here. Also, working collaboratively with community groups throughout the process should be mentioned from the outset.

Scope of Work

We suggest that a timetable or follow-up procedures to implementing designed strategies and interventions be added to the Scope of Work. MPD will then be held accountable to the strategies and interventions that are chosen. Also, the Scope of Work should include the process of dissemination and publicization of the Project's work and findings.

Responsibilities

As mentioned in the meeting, there should be a provision in each and every phase of the Project to include consultation with the Police-Community Task Force and the Employee Committee.

Also, it might be helpful to all concerned to clearly define "contact" in all of its forms. What is meant by "pre-test" and "post-test" should also be more clearly spelled out.

In general, we would also recommend that language be included making it clear that the Project will not simply focus on individual officers, but rather on the imperfections of the institution. The RFP should note the desirability of discussions between the Police-Community Task Force and the Employee Committee.

Furthermore, we recommend language that describes the desired qualifications of the contractor, which may include:

a. knowledge, experience and familiarity with diverse communities demonstrated through past projects, staff, membership, or willingness to subcontract portions of the work to those groups or individuals with expertise in certain communities, or

b. experience with, or successful implementation of, personnel performance management systems or other similar systems in other jurisdictions.

Lastly, we recommend that there be some community representation on the review and selection panel choosing the contractor, and that there be a technical review panel established towards the end of the Project that would also include community and employee representation, so that the packaging of the final report can be fine-tuned to maximize buy-in, minimize dissent and increase cooperation from the the largest possible segments of the community and employees.

Thanks for your consideration, and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Mark Thompson
Chair
NAACP Metropolitan Police & Criminal Justice Review Task Force


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