CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — Two of the Lowcountry’s largest law enforcement agencies are taking steps to eliminate racial bias in their police departments.
The Charleston Police Department (CPD) has an online resource to help combat bias in policing and the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) has released the first update to the implementation. its racial bias audit.
“I really pray that from now on we will begin to effectively address, work and solve the problems that we have,” says Pastor Thomas Dixon.
It is a bridge which, according to Pastor Dixon, must be dug.
“I know when this happens our community will function properly and people will be safe in the community,” says Pastor Dixon.
Since March 2021, a third-party group has conducted a comprehensive assessment of NCPD policies and practices after conducting several listening sessions and interviews with the community.
The report specifically examines law enforcement operations, community-oriented policing practices, complaints, officer recruitment, training and accountability.
Since its publication, 4% of the recommendations have been completed, 96% are in progress and 0% have not started.
The CPD has received 72 recommendations from the same assessment to be adhered to since November in traffic, staff practices, complaints, community policing and use of force.
31 recommendations have been fully complied with, 32 are subject to an annual review and 8 are still ongoing. CPD Captain Anthony Cretella says this updated dashboard is crucial to becoming more transparent with the Charleston community.
“The goal of this dashboard was to allow us to provide contextual updates rather than a tick,” says Cpt. Cretelle.
CPD officials say that with only 8 recommendations outstanding, they say it’s important to hear from the community so they continue to fill in the gaps.
“Our partnerships with the community are paramount to our success and a lot of the time we need the community more than they need us to solve crimes and move this audit forward,” says Cpt. Cretelle.
DPC officers say they want to make sure they continue to receive community feedback so they can continue to update their policies each year.