Supervisory Challenges in Racial Profiling Training

Michael E. Buerger, Bowling Green State University

In the wake of several high-profile cases alleging "racial profiling" of minority motorists, numerous states have adopted racial profiling data collection laws. Both the media handling of the issue and the mandates of data collection laws create additional burdens for police supervisors. Using the new Massachusetts law as an example, this paper discusses several of the issues that are specific to supervisory positions. They include (1) selling the program, (2) equipping their officers for the new demands on their duty life; (3) dealing with potential monkey-wrenching (various kind of work dereliction and defiance, ghosting, bad-mouthing to the public, etc.); (4) dealing with problem cases and morale; (5) the problem of "managing up" in a politically charged arena; (6) mediation of disputes and handling citizen complaints; and other potential problems.

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Updated 05/20/2006