If a police officer has a vehicle stop with a bunch of hari-krishnas in a van and it leads to a major drug bust, you can bet your ass the next time the cop sees a bunch of hari-krishnas driving around in a van, he's going to take a hard look at what they are doing!
Police might not be able to rhyme off exact statistics, but their experience shows them that young men steal more than old men. Boy Scout Leaders and Catholic Priests sexually abuse more little boys than Firefighters and street sweepers. People in the bad part of town steal, fight, rob, break stuff and do more drugs than people in the good part of town.
A cop who doesn't profile, is probably not a very good cop.
The more experience they have, the more they investigate, the more arrests they make, the more crime scenes they attend, the better they are at profiling.
There are people who profile for a living. They are called criminal analysts and it's their jobs to identify suspects based on criminal profiles.
A career thief who likes to break into houses by smashing a side window in the afternoon on a weekday. He then steals electronics and women's panties.
Suddenly a rash of those break and enters occur on a street he just moved onto.
Ding, ding, ding, ding.
Guess who the prime suspect is and guess how police came to that conclusion.
How did it suddenly become such a dirty word?