Duluthians have 3 chances to hear on Final Report of Racial Bias Audit for DPD

In September 2022, the City of Duluth contracted with the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) to conduct a racial bias audit of the Duluth Police Department (DPD).

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The goal of this audit was to provide a comprehensive assessment of Department operations and interactions with the community with respect to concerns raised about racial and ethnic disparities in police practices and operations.

The assessment methodology focused on engagement with members of the Department and members of the community, separately and together to look at present concerns and how they have been addressed in the past.

The final report on the Duluth Racial Bias Audit represents the CJI’s assessment of eleven specific areas of concern when looking at the Racial Bias Audit Team (RBAT), which includes the DPD.

These eleven areas were split into 3 sections:

  • Department Operations
    • Recruitments, Hiring, and Personnel Practices
    • Bias and Interracial Relations Trainings
    • Suspicious and Criminal Activity
    • Gathering and Interpreting DPD Data
    • Civil Disturbance
    • Use of Force
  • Department Interactions with the Community
    • BIPOC Community Relations
    • Vehicle and Pedestrian Stops
    • DPD Camera Data Review
    • Immigrant and Refugee Populations
  • Role of the Duluth Citizen Review Board
    • Duluth Civilian Review Board

Each section goes into the methodology and findings under each of the eleven areas including what they are doing well and what considerations they could take to do better.

For example, under Section I; Chapter 6, Use of Force Documentation and Investigation, one of the findings in the report was that the DPD’s Use of Force policy “provides information about when officers document force; however, there is inconsistency in officers’ understanding for when a use of physical force requires documentation”. The report goes on to urge the DPD to consider strengthening current policy on documenting use of force incidents, including requirement for when and how these incidents should be reported, and develop a system for collecting and storing relevant documentation.

The final report of the Racial Bias Audit can be accessed on the Duluth Police Department’s Racial Bias Audit webpage. The findings and considerations from the report will be presented at three public presentations.

  • Wednesday, August 9, Hosted by the Duluth Rights Commission at City Hall Council Chambers from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
  • -Wednesday, August 23, Hosted by the Duluth Citizen Review Board at City Hall Room 330 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
  • -Thursday, September 7, Hosted by the Family Freedom Center at 310 N 1st Ave W Ste 108 from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Public presentations will entail a walk-through of the findings and considerations and a question-and-answer period.