SPOKANE, Wash. — As a public policy issue, racial profiling is both troubling and difficult to address. It has been made illegal across the country, condemned by law enforcement, community leaders, and members of various ethnic groups. A Washington State University conference to provide a serious discussion of racial profiling issues has been set for Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Spokane.

The racial profiling conference will address the issues as they affect police and sheriff’s departments specifically, and the communities of Washington and the Northwest more generally. Experts participating as speakers and panelists are drawn from the ranks of policing practitioners and academic specialists in racial profiling, from Washington state and across the nation.

The conference is open to the public, with a conference registration fee of $30/ person that includes lunch, attendance at two afternoon panels, and a reception. To request a registration form, contact Holly Tate, program assistant at the Foley Institute, at (509) 335-3477 or via e-mail at htate@wsu.edu.

Keynote speaker is Lorie Fridell, research director of the Police Executive Research Forum, Washington, D.C.

Two panel discussions will address the national picture and the state of Washington what we know and what we don’t know, and issues critical for understanding racial profiling and the public policy response to the challenge of racial profiling, with a discussion of the community and political implications of biased policing.

Panelists will include Geoffrey P. Alpert, professor and chair of the department of criminology and criminal justice, University of South Carolina; Michael Smith, associate professor of criminal justice at WSU Spokane and a nationally recognized expert on racial profiling; Lori Fridell of PERF; Ronal Serpas, Chief, Washington State Patrol; Hubert Williams, president, Police Foundation; Jan Deveny, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs; Roger Bragdon, Chief, Spokane Police Department; Captain Ron Davis of the Oakland (CA) Police Department, representing the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; and Rick Mendoza, chair of the City of Spokane Police Citizens Advisory Committee, member of the board of directors of Spokane Community Oriented Policing Services, and a former member of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

The racial profiling conference is presented by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at WSU in cooperation with WSU Spokane, the Spokane Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety at WSU Spokane, the Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policing at WSU Spokane, and the WSU Department of Political Science/Criminal Justice.

Related web sites:
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu
Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service: libarts.wsu.edu/foleyinst/
Racial Profiling Conference: www.spokane.wsu.edu/racialprofiling
Spokane Police Department: www.spokanepolice.org/
Washington State Patrol: www.wa.gov/wsp/wsphome.htm
Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety at WSU Spokane: www.wsicop.spokane.wsu.edu
Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policing at WSU Spokane: www.wsicop.spokane.wsu.edu
WSU Department of Political Science/ Criminal Justice:
libarts.wsu.edu/polisci/
WSU Division of Governmental Studies and Services:
www.wsu.edu/~politics/writeups/dgss.html
Police Executive Research Forum: www.policeforum.org/
Police Foundation policefoundation.org