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Bucks County NAACP Releases Report On Local Law Enforcement: Blacks Being Arrested Disproportionately

Bucks County NAACP Releases Report On Local Law Enforcement: Blacks Being Arrested Disproportionately | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

The Bucks County branch of the NAACP spent three years examining the policies of the 39 police departments in the area. What their findings say about policing oversight in Pennsylvania. A new NAACP study examining the policies and practices of the 39 law enforcement agencies in Bucks County reveals gaps in how those departments track complaints against officers, traffic stops, and use of force across the county.

 

The study measures the policing agencies against 14 standards that the organization developed from local, state, and national best practices. The NAACP worked closely with the Police Chiefs’ Association of Bucks County, which helped promote participation in the project among departments in the county.

 

Alongside the policy analysis, the report also highlights racial disparities in how the agencies police their communities. The Bucks NAACP found many of the county’s police agencies did not meet the standards. Among them: About 46% of the departments had not fully adopted the use-of-force guidelines that the association published in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, or did not provide enough information to determine compliance.

 

The group also found Black people in Bucks County are arrested at a rate disproportionate to their population, a baseline metric the chiefs’ association contests. But perhaps most illuminating, the organization said, were the barriers volunteers faced to getting the records they sought. Collecting the data took nearly two years. In many areas, the group could not make conclusions because police agencies either could not or did not provide records.

 

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johnmacknewtown's insight:

 

Some departments took issue with using population as a baseline for the arrest analysis, according to the report, because the people who are arrested in a certain jurisdiction may vary from the people who live in that place.

 

“I know in Middletown, we have a huge business community,” Middletown Chief Joesph Bartorilla said. “And we estimate, and it’s hard for us to know, that our population during the day goes from 46,000, up to close to 70,000. Whereas you have other communities, they shrink to maybe in half, because they don’t have businesses.”

 

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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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