Kalamazoo Police Chief Describes Department's Work on Racial Bias

Mar 10, 2014

Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley speaks to the Kalamazoo City Commission March 10.
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The head of Kalamazoo Public Safety says the department is taking multiple steps to address racial bias in its policing. That’s in response to a study from last year, which showed that on average, Kalamazoo police were stopping African-American drivers twice as often as other motorists.

Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley reported to the city commission last night. He says the department’s efforts include training officers to recognize unconscious prejudices. It’s also led to a department-wide reevaluation of which traffic stops call for a search.

Hadley says the department eventually plans to recreate the traffic stop study to measure the city’s progress. But he added it could take a year or two to see marked improvement in the results.