Center for Policing Equity Releases New Guidelines for Combating White Supremacy in Policing

April 01 2021

Today, the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) released a set of guidelines to assist law enforcement agencies in responding to the entanglement of White supremacist and paramilitary gangs with law enforcement. 

When police officers intentionally affiliate with lawbreaking White supremacist or paramilitary gangs, they contravene departmental values, impede the department’s public safety mission, disrupt departmental morale, and undermine community trust. These guidelines aim to help law enforcement agencies identify, discipline, and remove officers who intentionally affiliate with hate groups or paramilitary gangs. They also help agencies adopt institutional values, policies, and rules that will allow for no mistake: the department does not tolerate advocacy for, or affiliation with, hate groups or paramilitary gangs. 

“White supremacists and paramilitary gangs are not allies of the public or safety,” said CPE CEO and Co-Founder Philip Atiba Goff. “They are avowed toxins to the body politic, dedicated to racism and the violent overthrow of government. The insurrection at the Capitol reinforced the need for police departments to ensure that White supremacists, groups rooted in bigotry, and paramilitary gangs have no place in their agencies. Our guidelines will help law enforcement agencies stop these noxious organizations from infiltrating the profession, and ensure that every member of their agency is committed to lawful and constitutional policing that serves and protects everyone in their communities, providing real public safety for everyone.”

The guidelines recommend concrete, actionable steps that  law enforcement agencies can take to reaffirm their commitment to justice and identify, and repudiate White supremacist and paramilitary gangs, including the following: 

  • Adopt written policies that expressly affirm the department’s commitment to racial justice and non-discrimination; 
  • Explicitly prohibit officers from advocating for and associating with hate groups and paramilitary gangs; 
  • Conduct initial and annual background checks that include a review of officers’ social media accounts to flag affiliation with hate groups and paramilitary gangs, disqualifying officers who affiliate with, or advocate for, hate groups or paramilitary gangs; 
  • Ensure that every allegation of discriminatory misconduct is subject to rigorous investigation and, where substantiated, appropriate discipline, up to and including dismissal; and
  • Commit to fair hiring practices that will build a department whose officers serve and connect with all communities.

At every step of policy development and implementation, departments must partner with community and advocacy groups to identify groups of concern and devise appropriate responses. The full set of guidelines can be found here


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in public safety. Using data-driven approaches to social justice, we use science to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.