Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Police reveal plan to improve minority relations on campus

November 13, 2000

The Strategy Team for Police-Minority Trust announced a 12-point plan to improve police minority trust on campus Friday. The plan was formed by faculty, students and administrators on campus and takes effect Jan. 1.

The strategy team was established in October to tackle problems between the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety and minority students.

MSU police Chief Bruce Benson said he thinks the plan will produce good results for everyone.

“I have a lot of respect for the members of this team, they’ve really added a lot,” he said. “I think these will be some really positive steps that will help build some trust on this campus.”

Benson said one of the main reasons for devising this plan was to do more than what has been done in the past.

“It’s so needed. I’m excited about a number of these points,” he said.

The points address racial profiling, supporting minority students in the police department and promoting greater knowledge on police procedures.

Although Benson said all 12 points are steps in the right direction, he cited points one, four, five and nine among his favorites.

Those points address everything from collecting data on all traffic stops, which will be analyzed by the MSU School of Criminal Justice, to guaranteeing that police won’t use color, age, sexual orientation, gender, ability or religion as the primary justification for action.

But Benson said many of the points - like No. 11, which addresses police presence at student social events - were spearheaded by student groups.

“I really have to give them a lot of credit for that,” he said.

MSU President M. Peter McPherson said MSU must be proactive in promoting fairness throughout campus.

“In a diverse community like we have here, trust with the community is very important,” he said. “I am strongly committed and supportive of this. Racial profiling is just not fair, the biggest commitment is the example we serve for others.”

And members of MSU’s minority community were glad to see the plan approved as well.

“Any positive steps that we could take to look at our interaction with people of color and law enforcement should be an ongoing effort through our university,” MSU Trustee Dorothy Gonzales said. “Those relationships are part of the educational processes for MSU.”

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