Bias Policy

The Stuart Police Department unequivocally does not condone bias-based profiling and it will not be tolerated. Bias-based profiling is unethical and illegal, and serves to foster distrust of law enforcement by the community we serve. Our department's policy (Policy 7) is as follows:

In the absence of a specific report, the race or ethnicity of an individual shall not be a factor in determining the existence of probable cause to place in custody or arrest an individual, or in constituting reasonable suspicion that an offense has been or is being committed so as to justify the investigatory stop of a person or motor vehicle.

In response to a specific credible report of criminal activity, race or ethnicity of a person shall not be the sole factor in determining the existence of probable cause to place in custody or arrest an individual; nor the sole factor in asset seizure and forfeiture efforts.

Any person may file a complaint with the department if they feel they have been stopped or searched based on bias-based profiling, and no person shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced from filing such a complaint, or discriminated against because they have filed such a complaint.

Any officer contacted by a person who wishes to file such a complaint, shall refer the citizen to the Shift Commander.

Supervisor receiving such a report shall forward it to the Chief of Police. All such complaints shall be reviewed and the complainant shall be informed of the results of the department's review within a reasonable period of time.

The department shall make public, upon request, a statistical summary of all profiling complaints, including the findings as to whether they were sustained, not sustained, or exonerated.

Supervisors shall review profiling complaints, periodically review a sampling of in-car video tapes of stops, reports filed on stops by officers, and respond at random to back up officers on vehicle stops, and shall take appropriate action whenever it appears that this policy is being violated, being particularly alert to any pattern or practice of possible discriminatory treatment by individual officers or squads.