COLUMBUS, Ind. – Two latest incidents have prompted the Columbus Police Division to replace its insurance policies concerning the reporting of incidents involving alleged bias.
One incident concerned racist flyers that have been left on vehicles, parking tons and sidewalks. The opposite concerned an individual who reported being referred to as a racial slur. “Whereas these have been clearly very disturbing, they didn’t rise to the extent of a criminal offense,” mentioned Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris. “So therein lies the query of what sort of documentation must happen.”
The conditions result in an replace to CPD’s Basic Order pertaining to document preserving. A brand new line within the coverage now states an officer will file a report “when an individual alleges a bias-motivated incident, whether or not or not a criminal offense has been alleged or discovered.” Such stories will likely be saved on file at CPD beneath their very own class.
Whereas police businesses are required to file bias crimes with the state, and people information are despatched to federal businesses, preserving observe of non-criminal bias incidents can serve a number of functions, Harris mentioned. Submitting the stories in their very own class will make it simple for police to trace any rising traits, and the stories may turn into related to future investigations.
“It solely takes our officers a pair minutes to do a report, and this manner the incident is documented in case further info comes forth,” Harris mentioned. The brand new coverage is welcome information to Shannon McDonald, Vice President of Columbus Space Multi-Ethnic Group (CAMEO). The group works to advertise racial and ethnic range and inclusion in Columbus.
“Simply so individuals know that they’re being tracked, Columbus Police Division is conscious of them,” McDonald mentioned. McDonald says he’s been the goal of racism prior to now. “Strolling down the road with a pair buddies that appear like me and a truck drives by or a automobile drives by, a automobile drives by they usually yell the N-word out the window at us,” he mentioned.
Below CPD’s new coverage, an incident like that could possibly be reported and a document could be saved on file. McDonald mentioned he applauds the brand new coverage as a step in the fitting route.
“It’s not going to get swept beneath the rug anymore,” McDonald mentioned. “These items are being tracked and I believe it’s necessary for the general public to know that.”
Over time, Harris says knowledge collected within the stories could possibly be utilized by the departments outreach and education schemes. The brand new coverage was carried out this week and is presently in impact.
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