The purpose of this policy is to unequivocally state that racial and ethnic profiling in law enforcement is totally unacceptable, to provide guidelines for officers to prevent such occurrences, and to protect our officers when they act within the dictates of the law and policy from unwarranted accusations.
A fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to all who live in this nation is to the equal protection under the law. Along with this right to equal protection is the fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. Citizens are free to walk and drive our streets, highways, and other public places without police interference so long as they obey the law. They also are entitled to be free from crime, and from the depredations of criminals, and to drive and walk our public ways safe from the actions of reckless and careless drivers.
The DeLand Police Department is charged with protecting these rights for all, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, physical handicap, religion or other belief system.
Because of the nature of their business, police officers are required to be observant, to identify unusual occurrences and law violations, and to act upon them. It is this proactive enforcement that keeps our citizens free from crime, our streets and highways safe to drive upon, and detects and apprehends criminals.
This directive is intended to assist law enforcement in accomplishing this total mission in a way that respects the dignity of all persons and yet sends a strong deterrent message to actual and potential lawbreakers that if they break the law, they are likely to encounter the police.
It shall be the policy of the DeLand Police Department to patrol in a proactive manner, to aggressively investigate suspicious persons and circumstances, and to actively enforce the motor vehicle laws, while insisting that citizens will only be stopped or detained when there exists reasonable suspicion to believe they have committed, are committing, or are about to commit, a violation of the law.