DEPARTMENTS - POLICE
Biased Based Policing
Immediately dial 9-1-1 if the service you need is due to serious threat to personal safety, a crime in progress or a traffic crash with injuries. Take precautions to ensure your safety until police officers arrive. If possible, remain on the phone with the dispatcher to give additional information that will help the officers respond to your needs.
Chief Laura Houston
1521 Nela Avenue
Belle Isle, FL 32809
Non-Emergency/Police Dispatching: 407-836-4357
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Every citizen regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,
religion, economic status, background, age, or culture deserves the
highest level of service available and equal treatment under the law.
The Belle Isle Police Department is committed to this belief, and
strives to insure unbiased policing in all of its encounters between
officers and citizens.
Bias-based policing occurs when an officer makes decisions or takes
police action based upon his or her own personal or societal biases or stereotypes, rather than relying on facts and observed behaviors which would lead the officer to believe that an individual has been, is currently, or is about to be involved in criminal activity.
Many citizens mistakenly believe that profiling is illegal, and that police officers are forbidden from using such a practice. The truth is that criminal profiling is legal, and is a legitimate technique used daily in law enforcement. Bias-based profiling, on the other hand, is illegal and has no legitimate use in solving or preventing crime. So what’s the difference between the two?
Criminal profiling is the use of legitimate law enforcement knowledge, training, and experience to narrow a field of suspects during a criminal investigation. Factual information, patterns of activity, and motives are some of the aspects considered when using criminal profiling to develop a suspect.
Bias-based profiling is the use of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, background, age, or culture as the sole basis for police activity. The absence of facts, suspicious activity, or specific criminal information is what separates bias-based profiling from legitimate criminal profiling.
It is important to realize that police officers must sometimes consider a person’s race, age, gender, religion, and other factors when preparing a criminal profile, as it may be a necessary part of determining who would have had a motive or the capability of committing an alleged crime. Routinely we determine a possible type of suspect in a series of crimes by first scrutinizing the facts of the case, then further narrowing our search by considering factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, etc. The key element is that the investigative outcome is based on facts and knowledge, not personal attributes or societal biases.
Bias-based policing invites distrust from the public, intense media scrutiny, and the possibility of legal action against the Department for constitutional and civil rights violations. We use every legitimate law enforcement technique, including criminal profiling, to preserve the safety of everyone we serve, but acts of bias-based policing are simply discriminatory acts that will not be tolerated.
The City of Belle Isle is a wonderful place to live and work. Every employee of the Belle Isle Police Department is committed to unwavering integrity and professional service to the community. Each employee brings value to the City and together, we are committed to working in partnership with the community to enhance and protect the quality of life of the residents of Belle Isle. I encourage every citizen to do their part by contacting us to report any suspicious activity. If you “See Something, Say Something.”
A Letter from Police Chief Laura Houston
The Belle Isle Police Department is a fully staffed, 24/7 police operation. The department's mission is to work in partnership with the community to enhance and protect the quality of life of Belle Isle citizens through dedicated and professional law enforcement.
The police department provides the following services:
To make communications with your police department easier, on-duty patrol officers carry a cell phone exclusively dedicated for citizen contact. For matters of a routine nature, such as reporting anything that seems out of place or suspicious, please call the officer. If the officer is involved with another patrol matter and cannot answer the phone, please leave a voicemail and the officer will contact you promptly.This contact number should not be called for information updates or for serious emergencies.
Please call 9-1-1 if you require immediate assistance or call the Orange County Sheriff's non-emergency recorded line at 407-836-4357 to report suspicious activity.
Fingerprinting services are currently not available.
Please call the Edgewood Police Department if services are needed (fees may apply). They can be reached at 407-851-2820.