Discriminatory Profiling / Complaints

Discriminatory Policing Policy

The Bay Harbor Islands Police Department employees will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of the practice of biased-based policing. It is our belief that racial and ethnic profiling in law enforcement is totally and unequivocally unacceptable. All department personnel are expected to conduct themselves with complete respect for the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of the United States and to provide equal protection under the law to all citizens of this nation.

It is the policy of the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department to patrol in a proactive manner, investigate suspicious persons and circumstances, and to actively enforce applicable laws and ordinances. The Department requires that citizens will only be detained when there is reasonable suspicion to believe they have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a violation of the law.

All sworn officers of the Bay Harbor Islands Police Department are responsible for enforcing all applicable traffic laws within Town jurisdiction as a means to correct inappropriate driving behaviors and habits, ensure community safety by reducing accidents, and to educate drivers. Officers are expected to use good judgment in exercising their discretion. Officers are required to evaluate the severity of the violation in relation to the circumstances and conditions that exist, consider the goodwill of the community, and determine an appropriate course of action that maintains the professional ethics that the Department requires of its members. Effective courses of action may include a verbal or written warning, issuance of a citation, or arrest if the violation has criminal penalties.

The basis for any and all enforcement action will be strictly based on illegal or improper activity. Initiating any action based solely on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, gender, lifestyle orientation, or physical handicap is strictly prohibited, and is cause for department disciplinary action.

Officers will receive continued training beyond their academy training regarding proactive enforcement, officer safety, cultural diversity, search and seizure, courtesy, and communication skills. In keeping with the Department’s mission and values, training programs will emphasize the need to respect the rights of all citizens to be free from unreasonable intrusion or police action.

Any person may file a complaint with the Department if they believe a Bay Harbor Islands Police Officer has violated department policies. No person shall be discouraged, discriminated against, intimidated, or coerced from filing such complaint. The complaint may be made by telephone to 305-866-6242, by mail, in person, or via email to Chief Diaz, and can be anonymous. All complaints are thoroughly investigated by the Office of the Chief of Police and the person filing the complaint shall be notified of the outcome of the investigation.