Understanding Bias-Based Traffic Law Enforcement:
A Manual To Reduce Bias-Based Traffic Law Enforcement

Understanding Bias-Based Traffic law Enforcement


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Traffic Enforcement

Community Outreach

Data Collection


Legislation and Case Law


When should we collect data? At first glance, data collection seems to be the cure regarding police and civilian contacts in relation to racial profiling. Data collection also is a tool to analyze actions that may be considered bias-based traffic law enforcement. There is much to be learned from data involving police encounters with citizens. Although police data collection systems cannot cure society of discriminatory acts by law enforcement officers, these systems can identify potential problems.

The systematic compilation of data authenticates community policing and can help engender respect for law enforcement officers. Statistics can be meaningful or simply a collection of numbers. Agencies should consider the type of facts and records necessary to document its resources and the reasons for its method of handling arrests, stops, and investigations. If the information is not collected, when and if litigation occurs, defensible records will not be available.

Police administrators are in a precarious position. If they decide not to collect data, some persons may assume that they are hiding something. If they decide to gather data, raw interpretations may be improperly analyzed and lead to claims of improper behavior. Therefore, careful analysis of collected data is critical.


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