KALAMAZOO, Michigan — Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has made police and procedural changes in an effort to address the findings of a year-old racial profiling study, Police Chief Jeff Hadley told the city commission Monday.
Hadley said officers have received training on consent-to-search, implicit bias and police legitimacy, the Kalamazoo Gazette (http://bit.ly/1vMgYC2 reported. They have also been encouraged to connect with members of the community by going door-to-door.
The study, released by a consulting firm September 2013, determined black motorists were more than twice as likely to be pulled over in Kalamazoo as white motorists. Although the study also found black motorists are less likely to be given a citation, it found they are more likely to be asked by an officer to exit their vehicles and to be searched, handcuffed and arrested.
"I think a lot of hard work has gone into addressing the results of the traffic stop data analysis," Hadley said. "We have a lot of work to do, let's be honest."
Kalamazoo crime has dropped by 6 percent overall, throughout every category except for aggravated assaults and car thefts. Traffic stops have been reduced by 41 percent, the police chief said.
Hadley said he thinks the department has become smarter about the way it polices the community.
Going forward, the department plans to better track searches, review the field training officer program and focus on strengthening its relationship with the community.
"There's a lot of work to do," Hadley said. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you there isn't because there is."
Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo
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