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Irondequoit Police Department

Based on information we’ve gathered, we have found that the Irondequoit Police Department:

  • Did not have a robust policy related to bias-based policing or racial profiling.
  • Provided little useful guidance on recognizing and responding to specific mental health concerns outside the context of making “mental hygiene arrests.”
  • Could better integrate de-escalation into the department’s use of force policies.
  • Gave officers detailed information on the procedures for carrying out traffic stops, but included no real discussion of the legal standards they must follow.
Map of New York with a yellow and red target on the city of Irondequoit

Department Diversity

As of October 2014, the Irondequoit Police Department had 51 sworn personnel, equivalent to one officer for every 1,006 residents. Men accounted for 88% of the force, and all members of the force were white except for one. The department did not provide a breakdown of personnel demographics by rank.

Equitable Policing

The Irondequoit police department did not have a robust policy related to bias-based policing or racial profiling. Instead, the Department had a single paragraph in a broader policy on “Professional Conduct and Responsibilities” prohibiting officers from expressing “any prejudice concerning race, religion, politics, national origin, lifestyle, or similar personal characteristics.”

Unchecked police abuse of vulnerable communities, especially communities of color, are at the heart of the nationwide movement for police accountability. Biased policing erodes trust between police and communities, weakens public safety, and can lead to constant violations of people’s constitutional rights to be free from discrimination. Prohibiting officers from expressing prejudicial views is one small element of a policy on bias-based policing, but it is by no means sufficient.

Police department policies need to embrace clear commitments to the prevention and elimination of bias. Departments must have policies that prohibit differential treatment by officers motivated by factors like a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or housing status. And once these policies are in place, department leaders need to hold officers who engage in bias-based practices accountable.

Misconduct Data

The Irondequoit Police Department reported conducting 34 Internal Affairs investigations in the two-and-a-half-year period between January 2013 and June 2015. Most investigations resulted in exonerations or unsubstantiated findings.

Stops Data

In the three-and-a-half-year period between January 2012 and May 2015, the Irondequoit Police Department reported 24 pedestrian stops and 21 traffic stops (four of which involved bicycles). Of the combined 52 people stopped, 92% were men and 48% were white. Black residents accounted for 38% of those stopped, but only 9% of the town’s population.

Surveillance Technology

Use of Force Data

The Irondequoit Police Department provided 140 Use of Force Reports for incidents between January 2012 and October 2015. Of these, 58 incidents, or 41%, resulted in suspect sustained injuries, none of which were fatal. Two uses of force involved a firearm, 30 involved a Taser, and 10 involved pepper spray.

Of individuals against whom force was used, 55% were white and 81% were men. All races and genders sustained injuries at roughly the same rate (between 38% and 42% of incidents). Twenty-one people who had force used against them exhibited signs of mental health issues, seven of whom sustained officer-inflicted injuries.

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Civil Liberties Union