Bias-based Profiling

The issue of bias-based profiling is one of the more disturbing and controversial issues to confront law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve in recent memory. While virtually all the evidence to date is subjective, there exists the perception that law enforcement officers enforce traffic laws based on a driver having a certain trait common to a group. This is a troubling development and one which causes concern to anyone charged with the enforcement of state’s laws.

It is the responsibility of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement, and related services to the citizens and visitors of Leon County. In accomplishing this, deputies must be observant, identify unusual occurrences and law violations using reasonable suspicion, and act upon them. It is this proactive enforcement that keeps our citizens, our streets and highways safer. It further enables us in detecting and apprehending criminals.

All laws shall be enforced equally, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, cultural group or any other identifiable group. Bias-based profiling shall not be tolerated in enforcement efforts.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office prohibits its members from using bias-based profiling during traffic stops, or field contacts, as well as asset seizure and forfeiture efforts.

Bias-based profiling issues, including legal aspects, are provided to sworn members of the agency during in-service training, in accordance with the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC) requirements. Agency policy prohibits bias-based profiling. Members are responsible for ensuring all citizens of the community are treated with dignity and respect.