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Policy Safeguards and the Legitimacy of Highway Interdiction

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The strategy of highway interdiction was created to counter the negative consequences of drug trafficking organizations using highways to distribute contraband. Although there have been tangible results, the strategy has also resulted in the unintended consequences of racial profiling and illegal searches. This thesis addresses whether policy safeguards could help minimize improper practices of personnel conducting highway interdiction operations.This project convened a series of focus groups consisting of 11 state police organizations that provided information on policy safeguards and their purposes. This thesis examines seven major categories of policy safeguards to determine the level of implementation by the state police organizations. In addition, this thesis includes a comparative analysis of the implementation of policy safeguards and the number of personnel complaints filed to determine whether there is any correlation. Although the findings are not conclusive, the analysis identified potential benefits of implementing policy safeguards.

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