By: News Staff


Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Providence City Council approved the final passage of the Providence Community-Police Relations Act (PCPRA), an act aimed at eliminating racial profiling with a 13-1 vote.

Considered one of the most progressive policing bills in the United States, officials say the PCPRA includes a range of measures to strengthen protections for immigrants, people of color, youth, and transgender individuals.

“The comprehensive scope of the ordinance makes it the first of its kind in the country,” said a press release obtained by ABC6 News.

“The landmark legislation was approved with recommended amendments from a panel comprised of community members, police administration and union representatives, and City solicitor, administration, and City Council representatives,” the release added.

Originally named the Community Safety Act, the final version of the ordinance was renamed the Providence Community-Police Relations Act to describe the intentions better.

The release went on to describe highlights of the bill, which read as follows:  

  • Prohibits racial and other forms of discriminatory profiling
  • Prevents police officers from racially profiling or otherwise discriminating against individuals based on their race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other factors
  • Establishes how police officers will document and collect data from traffic and pedestrian stops
  • Allows individuals stopped by the police to request and receive a report on their stop
  • Mandates policies for the use of body-worn cameras
  • Protects individuals’ rights to photograph and film the police
  • Mandates greater transparency and accountability in police-community interactions
  • Requires officers to inform drivers of why their vehicle was stopped, sets standards for requiring information from passengers, and codifies policy on individuals driving without a license.
  • Requires that officers inform individuals of their constitutional right to refuse before asking for consent to a search.
  • Requires officers in uniform to show their federal ID numbers.
  • Requires officers to provide their federal ID number when conducting stops and searches.
  • Requires the Chief of Police to submit quarterly reports to Providence External Review Authority (PERA) on the data collected.
  • Establishes new protections for juveniles, immigrants, and transgender individuals.
  • Establishes right of transgender individuals to be searched by an officer of their gender identity and requires Police Department to develop policies for handling those searches.
  • Prohibits officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status, and requires officers to accept valid identification from foreign governments.
  • Sets standards for dealing with individuals lacking proof of identification.
  • Prohibits officers from photographing juveniles under most circumstances.
  • Improves and codifies policies for use of Gang Database.
  • Requires the Police Department to establish policies for determining if an individual should be added to the gang database.
  • Prohibits certain factors, such as race, from being included in the criteria for adding someone to the gang database.
  • Requires parental notification when anyone under 18 is added to the gang database.
  • Allows anyone over 18 to ask if they are on the gang database.
  • Creates both an administrative removal process and a formal appeal process for people who feel they were added to the database in error.
  • Requires an annual audit of the gang database to identify any errors and make recommendations for improving its use.
  • Improves language access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.
  • Requires the Police Department maintain its language access hotline to connect officers with qualified translators.
  • Requires the use of qualified translators if the officer isn’t fluent in the language spoken (except in emergencies).
  • Mandates policies on officer fluency and defining emergencies.
  • Requires custodial interrogations of LEP individuals be recorded.
  • Requires vital materials be available in the five most commonly spoken languages in Providence.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017