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Is profiling always a bad thing?

Profiling and whether it should be used has been in the news lately.

I was giving it some thought and...

Police officers routinely use profiling without the uproar. They make walk-thru's of clubs and often make traffic stops of people exiting the parking lots of clubs. They are using a profile that drunk drivers often come from clubs.

******There is NO LINK. This is based on information I obtained from an article about drunk driving in our local paper. It is further confirmed by the fact that my hubby has had 2 people under his command get caught this way.

What are your thoughts? When is profiling okay in your opinion?


Asked by yourspecialkid at 12:35 PM on Jan. 2, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 35 (74,634 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • Profiling works. Unless you routinely put yourself in dangerous situations, we ALL use some degree of profiling in determining whether a person, place or thing is safe!


    Answer by LoriKeet at 1:26 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • Profiling works in Israel. It has worked for decades. The reason it works is that it's not the ONLY thing they do, it's just one very small part of a much larger puzzle, and when all the pieces fit, they pull someone out of the line and check them out. If we had a system as comprehensive as Israel, it would work here, too. Problem is that flies in the face of our civil liberties - several portions of it, not just the profiling. As they say, freedom ain't free.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:39 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • You are right NP. I was watching a segment on the news this morning. Israel has 6 layers of security in their airports. It was in interesting piece.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 1:13 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • I agree with PP.

    Answer by PhoenixFire at 1:35 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • Profiling is a way to keep yourself safe...use it with common sense!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:38 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • I agree profiling of some sort of degree has to be used given the circumstances of today's war on terror.

    Answer by WhoCares224 at 3:38 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • Simply being intelligent and responsible is nowadays labelled as profiling. Remember the story from an East Coast city about how police were accused of profiling when they stopped more black men after a neighborhood's crime wave? Yeah, the victims (mainly AfricanAmerican themselves) TOLD the police that the perpetrators WERE black men, yet the police were still villified by politically-correct activists for stopping a higher percentage of black males than they stopped women or other not-black people.

    Apparently, police work is supposed to focus less on capturing criminals preying on a neighborhood and focus more on tallying the percentages of genders and ethnicities they talk to. Once again, political-correctness aims for the least beneficial use of everyone's time and energy.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 4:13 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • Nope. It is a very successful tool. This will be even more successful because it is a profile of behavior more than religion, race, national origin, or gender. (even though most suicide bombers are males between the ages of 18 and 28) If you fit the profile for suspicious behavior, you need to be spoken to.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 4:15 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • The problem is profiling as part of the solution is ok. But most of the time it ends up being an abused practice.

    Richard Reid didn't fit the profile and neither did Tim McVeigh, you start using profiling Muslims or middle easterners they will just recruit more that dont fit the profile.


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:04 PM on Jan. 2, 2010

  • Using Tim McVeigh is moot, because you are talking about a different kind of terrorism. However, if we had repeated problems with white guys from the mid-West driving rental trucks, I would have no problem with searching all white guys from the mid-West driving rental trucks, while letting soccer moms in mini-vans get a pass.

    Richard Reid was a converted Muslim, and had changed his name to a Muslim name, like Cat Stevens did. Reid was his previous name, so yes, profiling would have caught him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:22 PM on Jan. 2, 2010