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


Criminal profiling is not new to our occupation or to the communities we serve. In fact, it is one of the oldest tools known to law enforcement. Criminal profiling is a legitimate investigative instrument; however, the practice of bias-based traffic law enforcement based solely on race, gender, religion, physical attribute, or belief is not.

The need to eliminate this practice has reached new heights with the people we serve. This practice threatens the very core of our mission to Serve and Protect. As law enforcement officers/officials, it is vital that we pause and make sure we are using the proper procedures in our traffic stops. Almost every state is attempting to develop a policy to address this issue. Collectively, we have an obligation to seek out ways to eliminate bias-based traffic law enforcement.

The purpose of this manual is to present information on bias-based traffic law enforcement. You will find an assortment of tools that can be used within your department, including:

    1. a definition of bias-based traffic law enforcement,

    2. a short self-assessment to gauge your needs,

    3. a traffic law enforcement section that addresses the traffic stop, effective management, law enforcement officers’ rights, and best practices, and

    4. techniques for effective community outreach programs, data collection, policies, and training resources to aid further research.

We hope this manual will provide you with a ready source of ideas and information as you go about your duties.


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