Charleston police working on improvements suggested in racial bias audit

VIDEO: Charleston Police Department updates on recommendations from racial bias audit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department is still working on making improvements suggested by their racial bias audit.

The first year of implementations will soon be released to the public as a report.

Wendy Stiver, the director of Research and Procedural Justice for the Charleston Police Department, gave an update to the City of Charleston’s citizen’s police advisory council on Thursday to get feedback on the report.

She says there are policy changes the department has been able to implement, but other recommendations will take a long time.

The audit offered more than 70 recommendations and the department has completed about half, meaning the recommendations required no further actions.

“One of the recommendations was to make sure that there was a statement to make that very clear to our officers, to our entire organization, that we value the sanctity of life and they are expected to place the sanctity of life above other things,” Stiver said.

The concept of “sanctity of life” is something she says the police officers already knew, but it was just never put down in writing.

The audit reveals improving traffic stops and the data collected from them is a huge area needing improvement. Stiver says that is going to be one of their biggest challenges.

“It’s not a simple question to answer. It’s not just a matter of counting how many tickets were issued to different demographics because there are different factors involved in it,” Stiver said.

The department hopes to release the one-year report to the public next week.

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