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New EPD Policy Remains Work in Progress

EPD

EUGENE, Ore. — Discretion and definition, two words of focus Thursday night as the city of Eugene crafts its first bias-based police profiling policy.

The Police Commission is tasked with coming up with the policy. It met with a panel that had strong, well informed opinions about bias-based policing and racial profiling among Eugene Police. Several said it’s a problem.

This discussion started because of new software EPD is using. It allows the department to collect and track demographic information of drivers stopped during traffic stops.

The new policy would help guide officers and narrow the broad language that’s currently directing officers.

“This will be a policy that’s uniquely designed and specific to the expectations of the officers around protected classes, their interaction with protected classes,” said EPD Chief Pete Kerns.

The policy is still being changed. The public will have a chance to weigh in at a public forum on April 3.

The Police Commission could then adopt the policy at its next meeting.

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