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Police Department

Perspectives on Profiling: A Police-Community Partnership

In the fall of 2001 the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to develop a training initiative to address Racial Profiling and Biased-Based Policing within Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.

A steering committee was formed consisting of representatives from the police department and various community and labor groups. Research was conducted into both community members and police officers perceptions on racial profiling and other biased-based policing within our jurisdiction. As a result, a unique interactive training initiative that combines participants from both the police department and community groups was developed that focused on the specific concerns of our community. The training initiative has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services as one of the best in the nation for police integrity.

Publications outlining the research and analysis utilized in the training curriculum can be downloaded here:

The Training

This is an eight-hour training, which combines essential information regarding bias-based policing. First, it includes reliable researched information:

  • On traffic stop data in Nashville
  • Police officer's perception of the issue of bias-based policing
  • And the community's perception of police bias in the city.

Second, Metro Nashville Police Department partnered with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement to provide a virtual reality learning experience entitled, "Perspectives on Profiling", that provides reality based scenarios and educational instruction to increase ethical and bias-free decision-making, and promotes competency in cross-cultural communication.

What this training is and what it isn't:

This training on racially bias based policing is structured and educational; it provides information based on best practices and reliable research conducted in Nashville, Davidson County. It is realistic, yet focused on positive, solution-oriented ways. It focuses on building bias-free decision-making, competency in inter-cultural communication and building a collaborative between law enforcement and various ethnic and cultural groups. It is designed to increase skills among officers and educate the public however; it does not instruct participants in every acceptable procedure in conducting traffic stops or reviews all statutes, ordinances, and agency policies.

The training is designed to:

  • Disseminate research-based information about police and community perceptions of bias of the police.
  • Increase public knowledge of police behaviors during traffic stops.
  • Increase police officer's knowledge and awareness of minority community perceptions, beliefs, and norms.

For additional details on available classes, contact Lt. Jim Stephens at 615-880-2850 or email at jstephens@police.nashville.org.