Unbiased Policy

The policy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is to treat every citizen with courtesy and respect. The purpose of this position is to reaffirm our commitment to unbiased policing in all its encounters between deputy sheriffs and citizens.

A fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States is equal protection under the law. Along with this right to equal protection is the fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Citizens are free to walk and drive our streets, highways, and other public places without law enforcement interference so long as they obey the law. They also are entitled to be free from the acts of criminals, and to drive and walk our public ways safe from the actions of reckless and careless drivers.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is charged with protecting these rights, for all, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or economic status. Law enforcement action which is biased is illegal and violates the equal protection clause and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. It also alienates citizens, fosters distrust of the Sheriff’s Office, and undermines legitimate law enforcement efforts.

The nature of our business requires deputy sheriffs to be observant, to identify unusual occurrences and law violations, and to act upon them. Proactive law enforcement keeps our citizens safe to live and work in a crime free environment. Criminal profiling is a legitimate tool in the fight against crime. Criminal profiling is an investigative method in which a deputy, through observation of activities and environment, identifies suspicious behavior by individuals and develops a legal basis, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, to stop them for questioning.

Criminal profiling is one of many accepted and necessary law enforcement investigative practices. However, it differs from and should not be confused with bias-based profiling. One is an investigative tool; the other, a discriminatory practice. Illegal profiling refers to a decision by a deputy to stop, detain, interdict, or search an individual based on their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or economic status. The Lake County Sheriff's Office prohibits illegal profiling as a law enforcement tactic and will not tolerate or condone its use by any of our deputies.

It is the Sheriff's Office philosophy to accomplish our mission in a way that respects the dignity of all persons and yet sends a strong message of zero tolerance to actual and potential lawbreakers.