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NCPD Racial Bias Audit

The City of North Charleston has recognized the need for an organizational assessment and racial bias audit of the NCPD, including a thorough review of protocols, practices, and behaviors. This review will culminate in a report with findings, observations, and recommendations for policy, procedure, and structural changes to NCPD to ensure that the department uses best practices and sound policies and procedures in all phases of its work.

North Charleston City Council has selected CNA to perform the review.  CNA is a nonprofit research organization, which will play an important role in building innovative and effective policing principles and practices through our research, analysis, and support to national training and technical assistance programs.

City Council approved proposal – CNA’s approach, positioning, and team

Approach

In order to examine systemic and individual racial bias, including perceived and implicit bias, CNA will work closely with all segments of the community, city officials, and NCPD personnel. Our team will assess, analyze, and make recommendations to improve departmental operations and help strengthen and rebuild trust with the community.

Goals of the audit

  • Review and understand general data relating to North Charleston demographics, communities, and community needs & goals.
  • Review and understand general data and demographics relating to North Charleston crime statistics (including information relating to crime victims, subjects / suspects, and calls for service) overall, and within various communities within the City.
  • Assess and assist the efforts of the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD), in concert with the community, to uncover any aspects of implicit bias, including systemic and individual racial bias.
  • Assess the impact of enforcement operations on historically marginalized and discriminated against populations, particularly the African American and Hispanic communities.
  • Provide recommendations to improve community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, community inclusion, fairness, effectiveness, training (including FTO program) and public trust. Such recommendation should take into account national best practices and community expectations.
  • Engage the community to understand the experiences and expectations of interactions with NCPD.

Scope of assessment and support

In order to meet these goals of examining systematic and individual racial bias, including perceived and implicit bias, CNA will work closely with all segments of the community, city officials and NCPD personnel. CNA will assess analyze, and make recommendations as it relates to five core areas, as outlined below. Throughout all stages of the assessment, CNA will emphasize community input and expectations, and rely on our extensive knowledge of national best practices towards building stronger relationships.

  1. Impact of policy and practice on historically marginalized and minority populations, including communities of color, particularly African American and Hispanic communities;
  2. Community-oriented, problem-solving policing practices;
  3. Use-of-force practices and outcomes;
  4. Complaint process, internal and external; and
  5. Recruitment, hiring, promotions and personnel practices.

Deliverables

CNA will provide each of the deliverables highlighted, ensuring that the City of North Charleston, NCPD, and the community derive the maximum benefit from our work. In particular, CNA will:

  • Provide regular updates to the City Council, other City officials, NCPD, and the community on our progress and assessment findings, to include presentation of draft findings and recommendations prior to finalizing the report.
  • Develop a detailed final report that covers all elements of the proposed scope of work. This report will include:
    • Identification of areas of high performance as well as recommendations for improvement;
    • Best practices and innovations that NCPD should implement in response to findings and recommendations;
    • Actionable recommendations, to cover program refinements, new strategies, resource modifications;
    • Ranking of recommendations by priority and estimates of necessary resources required to implement recommendations;
  • Deliver the report in a format specified by the City.
  • Present the final report to the City, NCPD, and the community.

Timeline