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After Incident, Smith Revises Police Procedures

January 31, 2019

Smith College on Wednesday announced that it was revising some procedures for the police force it shares with Mount Holyoke College. In August, the college was roiled after an employee called police on a black graduate student; the employee said the student seemed "out of place." While an investigation found no evidence of bias in the report, many on campus disagreed, and Smith officials agreed that the incident pointed to the frustrations of many black people about having the police called on them when they are doing nothing wrong.

Under policies for the police force (some affirmed and others new):

  • "Dispatchers must gather sufficient information from callers to ensure that police response -- if warranted -- is based on a report of individuals’ behaviors versus appearances."
  • "Ensure that all enforcement actions are based on reasonable suspicion or probable cause, as supported by articulable facts, circumstances and conclusions."
  • "Expand mechanisms for addressing any aspect of an encounter that may suggest the possibility of bias-based profiling."
  • "Require annual training on the prevention of bias-based profiling."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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