In late 2020, the City of North Charleston hired CNA to conduct a racial bias assessment of the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD). Beginning in March 2021, CNA undertook a comprehensive assessment of NCPD’s policies and practices, focusing on assessing racially biased practices and procedures. Assessments such as these, which touch on more than racial and social justice matters, help police departments gauge the status of their community relationships, especially amongst minority and disenfranchised communities. In addition, the assessment can help identify policies and practices that may unintentionally negatively affect the community, especially those who feel they have been marginalized. Through this assessment, the CNA team developed a strong objective understanding of NCPD’s operations in various areas including law enforcement operations, community-oriented policing practices, complaints, training, oversight and accountability, and recruitment, hiring, and promotions.
CNA developed this report by reviewing community engagement programming documents, strategic plans, training lesson plans, training curriculum, general orders, department data, and sentiments from interviews with community members and NCPD personnel and community listening sessions. This report includes findings and associated actionable recommendations for the department. In developing the recommendations, CNA assessed the NCPD’s policy manual against emerging best practices.
CNA’s comprehensive assessment of NCPD included an examination of the following:
- Law enforcement operations
- Community-oriented policing practices
- Recruitment, hiring, and promotions
- Oversight and accountability