Police Practices Specialist
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Affiliate Support and Advocacy Department, NY
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in legislatures, courts, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.
TheAffiliate Support and Advocacy Departmentof the ACLU’s National Office in New York City seeks a full-time Police Practices Specialist.
Good police practices, thorough training, carefully crafted policies, strong civilian oversight, and appropriate allocation of resources in law enforcement improve public safety and relationships between police officers and citizens. Unfortunately, data from across the nation and high-profile incidents increasingly raise questions about racial, religious, and other forms of biased-based profiling, selective enforcement, excessive force, and militarization. In addition to law enforcement being the front line of the failed War on Drugs, the police are increasingly involved in enforcing terrorism and immigration laws, controlling and quelling political protests, handling school safety and discipline, providing local governments’ responses to homelessness and mental illness, and using surveillance and police powers to gather an array of personal data, as well as becoming equipped with a wide range of technologically advanced, and in some cases military grade, weapons and surveillance equipment.
The ACLU is the nation’s leading watchdog against police abuse and corruption, and an outspoken advocate for police reform. To build trust, we need a democratic system of policing where our communities have a much larger say in the way their neighborhoods are policed. Collaboration, transparency, and communication between police and communities around the shared goals of equality, fairness, accountability, and public safety is the path forward.
Across the country, ACLU affiliates have long worked to hold police accountable. In Missouri, the ACLU was on the ground in Ferguson, monitoring police conduct, educating protestors about their rights, and defending those rights in court. In New York, the ACLU was a leader in the successful campaign to end New York City’s “stop and frisk” abuses and is now working to reform the NYPD’s approach to enforcement of low-level violations. In Arizona, the ACLU won a major class action lawsuit to stop racial profiling and illegal detentions of Latinos by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. In California, the ACLU worked to successfully revise the LAPD’s unfair daytime curfew practices that targeted students of color. In Washington State, the ACLU led the call by 34 community organizations requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the Seattle Police Department after a string of incidents involving unnecessary or excessive force against persons of color. In Puerto Rico, the ACLU called attention to a host of police abuses ranging from use of excessive and lethal force to failure to investigate rape and other gender based crimes. In Ohio, the ACLU plays a central role in implementing, promoting, and defending an innovative plan devised to improve police-community relations in Cincinnati. These are only a few recent examples of the ACLU’s work in states and cities across the country to reform police practices.
Nationwide system reform is necessary. The Police Practices Specialist will provide leadership for the ACLU’s nationwide advocacy to defend civil liberties against police misconduct, develop policies and best practices across a range of policing issues, and anticipate and respond to emerging policing trends. The ACLU approaches its policing work through integrated strategies including litigation, public education, strategic communications, and local, state, and federal advocacy. This work raises many interrelated areas of concern for the ACLU, including racial justice, criminal law reform, ending mass incarceration, immigrants’ rights, free speech, privacy and technology, national security, human rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, juvenile justice, and the school-to-prison pipeline. As part of the ACLU’s Advocacy Team, the Police Practices Specialistwill work closely with ACLU affiliates and national colleagues to advance the ACLU’s nationwide agenda to hold police accountable and improve police practices and institutions.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Lead nationwide advocacy around police practices in close coordination with colleagues in ACLU affiliate and national offices.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that achieves a clear vision of effective, democratic, and constitutional policing that establishes and reinforces community trust in its peacekeepers.
- Collaborate and work closely with colleagues in the Communications, Legal, and Development departments, the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, and ACLU affiliates around the country to advance strategic goals.
- Represent the ACLU in national coalitions and develop relationships with allies and other organizations to further our advocacy goals.
- Cultivate support of critical partners in advocacy, including impacted communities, law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Establish and implementa modelfor ACLU and its state affiliates to work with diversepolicing stakeholders, including communities of color, residents of and small business owners in heavily policed neighborhoods, currently and formerly incarcerated people, people with criminal convictions, youth, victims of crime, health care workers and advocates, police officers, members of police oversight commissions, elected officials, school officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys,and judges.
- Identify opportunities for and lead nationwide campaigns that address widespread problems and build public support for reform.
- Identify and oversee research needed to achieve our policy goals.
- Pilot models in targeted states and municipalities that represent best practices in policing.
- Consult with ACLU attorneys litigating policing issues and ACLU federal lobbyists negotiating related legislation and policy guidance.
- Advise and oversee investment in state campaigns.
- Build capacity to ensure the organization’s responses to major and unexpected developments and opportunities involving policing.
- Provide strategic advice and tools to ACLU affiliates and state partners to assist their advocacy, including strategic goal setting, coalition building, community engagement, messaging and persuasion tactics, legislative counseling, and decision-maker targeting.
- Serve as a national media contact on policing matters.
- Speak publicly at national, state, and local forums, conferences, and meetings.
- Handle other duties as assigned.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Bachelor’s degree and eight (8) or more years of experience in advocacy, addressing police practices.
- Demonstrated success in collaborating with law enforcement.
- Experience developing long-term campaign goals and identifying strategies to achieve those goals.
- Proven track record of working in partnership and establishing trust with affected communities.
- Experience identifying policies and practices that undermine community and police relations.
- Experience with systemic police reform processes, especially court-enforceable agreements between the Department of Justice and police entities.
- Experience with an expansive toolbox of strategies to move decision-makers, including lobbying, paid and earned media, field organizing, online activism, constituent engagement, etc.
- Experience with working in a fast-paced environment and rapidly responding to developments.
- Proven track record of working collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions.
- Familiarity with various policing philosophies, as well as research and literature on police practices, crime reduction, and implicit bias.
- Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills.
- Ability to simultaneously handle multiple tasks, work efficiently and quickly, and meet deadlines under pressure.
- Experience working in political, policy, legal, or government settings.
- Willingness to travel when necessary.
- Commitment to civil liberties required.
- Law enforcement experience preferred and military experience a plus.
The ACLUoffers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
HOW TO APPLY
Please send a cover letter, with salary requirements, and resume to HRjobsASDemail@example.com - Reference ASD-54/W in the subject line.Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address.This email address is specific to the Affiliate Supporting and Advocacy Department posting. In order to ensure your application is received, please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mailaddress.You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.
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Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
This posting provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the posting at any time without advance notice.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.
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