Almanac Between Issues April 21, 2004

 

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RESPONSE TO THE COMMUNITY REGARDING THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AD HOC COMMITTEE ON RACIAL PROFILING REPORT

April 20, 2004

I would like to thank Dr. Dennis Culhane, Chairman of the Division of Public Safety's Advisory Board and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Racial Profiling, as well as all of the members of this committee for the work they undertook in producing this thoughtful report.

Racial profiling is a serious concern nationally, and for our community. Professional police departments who are concerned about their communities have developed Bias Based Profiling policies to ensure that their officers are treating all citizens equally and with respect. To this end, the Penn Police Department issued Directive Number 87, Bias Based Profiling on January 26, 2001. The Committee benchmarked the UPPD's policies and procedures regarding bias based profiling, as well as community oriented policing measures, with Colleges and Universities, as well as Municipal Police Departments. It is evident that the Ad Hoc Committee has produced a thorough and comprehensive report. I am gratified, that after extensive national research, the Ad Hoc Committee has found that the UPPD's Bias Based Profiling policy is consistent with national standards. Chief of Police, Tom Rambo, and I agree that the UPPD can continue to enhance its delivery of services to the community. We enthusiastically accept the Committee's recommendations and have already begun to implement a number of new programs and procedures.

The programs are as follows:

TRAINING FOR ALL DIVISION OF PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONNEL:

  • FORM A DPS ADVISORY BOARD TRAINING COMMITTEE:
    I am submitting a request to Dr. Dennis Culhane, Chairman of the DPS Advisory Board, to form a DPS Advisory Board Training Committee to work with me in identifying training programs that will address the diverse issues of the Penn and West Philadelphia community, particularly as it relates to diversity issues of race and customer service. Working with a training consultant and the DPS Advisory Board Training Committee develop a five (5) year training plan which will be cumulative in nature and will be delivered in a sequential manner.   

TRAINING FOR THE COMMUNITY ON INTERACTIONS WITH THE UPPD:

  • DEVELOP A TRAINING BROCHURE FOR THE COMMUNITY:
    The UPPD, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania's Minority Coalitions' Student Leaders, is developing a brochure entitled The Law and You at the University of Pennsylvania. This brochure offers detailed suggestions for citizens on how to react to interactions with Law Enforcement Officers, as well as an overview of legal guidelines under which Law Enforcement Officers must operate in stopping citizens for investigation.

REVIEW AND REPORTING OF DATA:

In order to ensure the integrity and spirit of the Bias Based Profiling policy the following changes will be made to the policy:

  • An annual review of aggregate data on pedestrian and vehicular stops, citations, arrests and searches by perceived race, ethnicity and gender will be conducted and presented annually to the Division of Public Safety Advisory Board.
  • The Chief of Police will review officer level investigations on pedestrian and vehicular stops by perceived race, ethnicity and gender, and the proportion of stops leading to citations, arrest or search by perceived race or ethnicity and gender on a monthly basis.

CITIZEN'S COMPLAINT PROCESS:

Several years ago the Citizen's Complaint Process was revamped. As a result, citizens were able to access the complaint forms and an explanation of the process through the following means:

  • DPS Headquarters, 4040 Chestnut Street
  • Penn Resource Centers
  • Form may be E-mailed, faxed, mailed or hand delivered to DPS headquarters at 4040 Chestnut Street.

ADDITIONAL METHODS FOR SUBMITTING CITIZEN COMPLAINTS:

During the monthly DPS & Minority Coalitions' Student Leaders meeting, a student suggested that the UPPD train the below named student organizations to accept and forward citizens complaints to the UPPD. This procedure is being implemented immediately.

  • United Minority Coalitions
  • Undergraduate Assembly (UA)
  • Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA)      

CUSTOMER SERVICE PROGRAMS:

In order to increase the effectiveness of services to our community we are in the process of developing the following programs:

  • 24 hour Division of Public Safety Customer Service Feedback Telephone Line
    Community members can call (215) 573-TALK (8255) with comments, questions, critiques, complaints, kudos and ideas. Note: This line is being installed and is expected to be activated by April 27, 2004.
  • Division of Public Safety Customer Service Feedback Web Line
    Community members can submit comments, questions, critiques, complaints, kudos and ideas via the DPS Website at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu.
  • Division of Public Safety Customer Service Kiosk
    Community members can access the DPS Customer Service Kiosk in the lobby of the Public Safety headquarters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Learn what's new at DPS, as well as log onto the DPS Customer Service Feedback Web Line.
  • Customer Service Surveys:
    Any community member receiving a service from Public Safety is contacted and asked to provide feedback on their level of satisfaction with the service rendered. A monthly report is generated detailing the level of satisfaction of the Penn and/or West Philadelphia community member. These monthly reports may be viewed by the community by accessing the DPS Website at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu and/or the DPS Customer Service Kiosk in the lobby of the DPS Headquarters.

COMMUNITY POLICING PROGRAMS:

  • CONTINUE TO ATTEND WEST PHILADELPHIA COMMUNITY MEETINGS:
    The Division of Public Safety is represented at ten (10) Monthly community meetings. This gives members of the West Philadelphia community an opportunity to provide feedback to the Vice President for Public Safety and/or the Chief of Police. We will continue to attend these meetings and notify the community of our new Customer Service Feedback Phone line and Customer Service Feedback Website.
  • UPPD DETECTIVE UNIT COLLEGE HOUSE LIAISON PROGRAM:
    The UPPD Detectives interact daily with members of the community. The UPPD will enhance the College House Community Liaison Program. Detectives will be the primary liaison regarding crime prevention, outreach and investigative services for the College House residents. The primary goal of this program is to foster and strengthen the working relationship between the UPPD, students, faculty and staff.
  • UPPD SUPERVISORY PATROL ZONE PROGRAM:
    The Chief of Police is designing a new program that will assign specific zone responsibilities for UPPD Supervisors. This primary goal of this program is to enhance the communications and trust between the UPPD and the community. The supervisors will work closely with the community on crime prevention, quality of life enhancement programs, special events and other pro-active projects. More importantly, it will put a face to the name of UPPD supervisors. The supervisors will also introduce officers under their command to opportunities to engage face-to-face with community members.

BIAS BASED PROFILING POLICY REVIEW:

While the Ad hoc Committee found that the UPPD's bias based profiling policy is consistent with national standards, nonetheless, the UPPD will review the policy and examine ways to improve its effectiveness.

On behalf of the women and men of the UPPD and the entire Division of Public Safety I look forward to implementing these new programs and to continue to deepen our partnership with the community.

-- Maureen S. Rush,
Vice President for Public Safety

 

 

Posted 4/21/04