Demographic Disparity Analysis

In 2022 the Richfield Police Department hired a subject-matter expert, Police Strategies LLC, to complete a thorough analysis of Richfield police data including calls for service, arrests, and use of force. This report examined quantitative demographic disparities in victims and offenders reported to the Richfield Police Department as well as disparities in arrests and uses of force by Richfield police officers. The complete disparity analysis report can be accessed here:

Richfield PD - Disparity Report - Police Strategies LLC - November 2022_Page_001
Police Strategies LLC presented the findings of the Demographic Disparity Analysis at a Richfield City Council Special Work Session and a subsequent public town hall meeting.  Video recordings of both meetings, and the affiliated PowerPoint presentations, are provided below:

Police Strategies LLC also created an interactive dashboard that allows further analysis of the Richfield Police data used in the study:

Town Hall Questions

During the town hall meeting, a number of community members submitted comment/question cards regarding the disparity analysis report. Due to time constraints, some questions could not be answered during the presentation. Listed below were the questions* and responses related to the study.


*Some questions asked during the Town Hall meeting were specifically related to other studies referenced by the presenter and/or related to the methodology used to draft the report. The Richfield Police Department referred these questions to the report’s author to provide individual responses to these questions.


What stops the Richfield Police Department from having a conversation directly with members of the community? In addition to the quantitative data study, what other things are the Richfield Police doing to understand the experiences of the community?

In order to build trust and confidence, the police have to make contact — door-to-door, face-to-face, intentional, non-enforcement contact with citizens in the neighborhoods of the greatest need. Through community contact, the department lets citizens know that the department hears them, is taking what they say seriously, and is planning further steps to address their concerns.

The Community Oriented Policing (COP) philosophy has been a part of the Richfield Police Department for many years. In fact, in 2007 the Richfield Police Department became the third police department in Hennepin County to join the Joint Community Police Partnership (JCPP) program in an effort to enhance the department's COP philosophy. JCPP is a Hennepin County program designed to build trust in the community by enhancing communication and understanding between law enforcement and the diverse communities in Richfield. 

In addition to the JCPP program, the Richfield Police Department looked to the May 2015 report, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, to bolster community policing efforts. This report identified best policing practices and offered recommendations on how those practices could promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. The Richfield Police Department subsequently adopted several of the report’s recommendations including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Action Item 4.2.1: “Law enforcement agencies should evaluate officers on their efforts to engage members of the community and the partnerships they build. Making this part of the performance evaluation process places an increased value on developing partnerships.”
  • Action Item 4.2.2: “Law enforcement agencies should evaluate their patrol deployment practices to allow sufficient time for patrol officers to participate in problem solving and community engagement activities.”

The department implemented these action items, and several others, into police policies in 2017. Officers are required to participate in 24 hours of annual community engagement activities and are empowered to be problem-solvers and develop their own programs, especially relating to youth in the community.  The department has dedicated more than 1,700 hours each year to community policing aside from traditional public safety duties. More importantly, an officer’s COP activity is an essential component of their annual performance evaluation. The department also annually recognizes an officer that excels in their commitment to COP with the COP Officer of the Year Award. 

All Richfield officers understand that community engagement is the foundation of good policing and is an essential job function. 

The City of Richfield regularly engages with community members to identify city priorities. For example, the City recently completed a comprehensive strategic plan where local priorities were identified through an exhaustive engagement process over the course of many months. The community engagement included a public survey and focus groups including feedback related to public safety. More than 600 Richfield residents participated in our survey and over 70 city stakeholders, including community and faith leaders, members of our disabilities community, as well as many more important stakeholders participated in the focus groups. 

The City of Richfield previously completed a number of public surveys related to public safety services. The results of the surveys can be found on the police department's reform FAQ website. The City will continue to solicit valued feedback through community surveys. 

The Richfield Police Department also routinely reviews incidents recorded on body-worn camera systems to ensure officers are providing professional, courteous police services and to better understand the experiences of the community.

What happens when an officer uses unlawful force?

The Richfield Police Department strives to provide the best possible services to the community with the best possible officers. The Richfield Police Department requires all of its employees to serve with respect, integrity, and professionalism. However, there is always room for improvement. 

Anyone is able to make a compliment or complaint on any officer at any time. Compliments or complaints can be made in-person, over the telephone, or electronically. The online complaint form can be found here. All complaints are carefully reviewed. For detailed information on how complaints and/or internal investigations are handled, please click here.

The department has a number of policies to ensure employees conduct themselves in a manner which fosters professionalism and personal integrity with due regard for the mission of the department, the rights of fellow employees, and the general public. Officers that violate police policy are subject to progressive discipline including a documented oral reprimand, a written reprimand, suspension, demotion, or discharge. The department's progressive discipline policy can be found here.

What was the background and credentials of Police Strategies LLC CEO Bob Scales?

The background on Police Strategies LLC can be found on their website.

How much did the study cost and how was it funded?

The study cost approximately $10,000 and was funded by a federal grant.

How is the department using data to improve policies and training?
The Richfield Police Department is committed to providing exceptional public safety services through ongoing improvements. The department routinely uses data to guide policy and/or training revisions aimed at providing better services. For example, the police department's previous use of force training included pain compliance tactics. Data showed the tactics were ineffective in gaining control - especially with individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Richfield police officers are now trained to utilize a team-focused approach that emphasizes de-escalation and the fundamentals of body positioning to control a person on the ground. The new training is anticipated to reduce injuries to subjects and officers. 
Are armed police officers the most cost effective method to address traffic law enforcement?

Minnesota law does not allow someone who is not a licensed peace officer to make traffic stops.

When the police department transitions to the new Tyler Technologies software, how will data be shared with the public?
The new Tyler Technologies software will include the Citizen Connect application, a highly configurable geospatial interface that connects citizens and elected officials with information about the government services that affect their communities. Citizen Connect links police data, crime, traffic incidents, and other key service information and allows users to explore, analyze, and sign up for alerts around the data.

Users can view the data as a heat map to see the concentration of pins or as a choropleth to aggregate data to certain boundaries like zip codes, neighborhoods, council districts, and much more. Filter options available on Citizen's Connect include place, date range, and type of data.  The module is fully interactive and allows users to easily select and view different data points.

Are Richfield police officers trained to address their racial biases?
Many researchers have identified ways to reduce bias and minimize its effect on decision-making. One of the most effective ways to reduce explicit bias in policing is passing laws and drafting policies prohibiting things like racial profiling.  The Richfield Police Department has a detailed policy to reaffirm the department's commitment to impartial/unbiased policing and to reinforce procedures that assure the department is providing service and enforcing laws in a fair and equitable manner for all.

The Richfield Police Department's impartial policing policy states that investigative detentions, pedestrian and vehicle stops, arrests, searches and property seizures by officers will be based on a standard of reasonable suspicion or probable cause in accordance with the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Officers must be able to articulate specific facts, circumstances and conclusions that support reasonable suspicion or probable cause for investigative detentions, pedestrian and vehicle stops, arrests, nonconsensual searches and property seizures.  With very limited exceptions, officers can not consider race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or religion in establishing either reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

In addition to strict department policy, every Richfield police officer completes annual training specifically related to implicit bias. The training helps officers in understanding implicit and explicit bias, understanding how stereotypes and other cognitive biases can affect law enforcement decision-making, and identifying strategies for reducing the effects of bias.

Richfield police officers receive extensive training on crisis intervention training (CIT) and de-escalation strategies. This training is conducted in two formats: online and in-person. All officers receive CIT training upon initial hire and periodic CIT training thereafter by instructors certified by The Barbara Schneider Foundation. Officers also complete a spectrum of annual training courses related to crisis and conflict management including persuasion, de-escalation, emergency medical holds, mental health, and serving those with autism.

The Richfield Police Department’s training program greatly exceeds Minnesota’s minimum requirements.  A large portion of mandated training is completed through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) online training program: PATROL (Peace Officer Accredited TRaining OnLine). For more information regarding our minimum annual training requirements, please click here.