© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Police, Sheriffs Oppose Anti-profiling Bill

Police agencies are opposing a Maine bill to ban racial or religious profiling.

The Portland Press Herald reports that police leaders say that officers are already trained to avoid profiling.

Democratic Rep. Craig Hickman's bill would expand such training and require Maine's attorney general to collect data on arrests and prosecutions.

His bill follows a 2017 traffic stop of a van of immigrant workers by a Maine state police trooper.

Hickman said profiling on the basis of race or religion can be humiliating and deadly.

At a public hearing Monday, a representative of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association said collecting data could erode public trust if police were expected to ask about race or religion during traffic stops or other encounters.

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry called the bill too costly.