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Hate Crimes Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $400,000)

The Memphis Police Department proposes to implement the Bias Crime Assessment Tool (BCAT) Screening Protocol. The purpose is to build a foundation upon which a reliable process can be built to identify, report, investigate, and track bias-motivated crimes in an effort to prevent and/or mitigate the spread of such activity. Based on the categories of hate crimes committed in the City of Memphis provided by the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reporting system, victims of non-domestic personal (Simple Assault/Intimidation/Robbery), non-domestic property (Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property), and non-domestic violent crimes will be screened according to the policy and protocol developed during the planning period.

Our Victim Services Unit (VSU) will serve as project administrator. Activities will include the completion of BCAT screenings by Victim Specialists on iPads, both in person and via FaceTime, for immediate upload to a shared interdepartmental database so the information can be accessed by all investigators. We will also share reports with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office, the FBI, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which will be included in each case file. A common regional tracking platform will enable the agencies to share information for investigatory and prosecutorial purposes as well as during management of critical incidents.

We expect that this incremental yet vital first step will lead to an increase in identifying and charging of hate crimes, starting with victim reporting. We will also enhance our capacity to prevent and address bias crimes through integration of the BCAT screening, thereby increasing trust and confidence in the department’s dedication to vulnerable populations. The appropriate training and certification of key personnel will underscore this commitment and legitimize our effort.

The intended beneficiary of this project is the entire community, which will acquire a better understanding and awareness of bias motivation through the BCAT screening. Our ultimate goal is to eventually develop predictive models that incorporate artificial intelligence, such as machine learning and natural language processing, as a means to disrupt the behavioral and tactical environments that lead to occurrences with mass casualties.

Date Created: September 28, 2023