Reporting and Analysis
Whether a report is prepared by an outside expert or a department compiles information for a report to be released to the public, there are a number of important reporting details to consider. Some jurisdictions have implemented data collection systems with little thought about how information will be disseminated to the public or, more importantly, how it will be used to create an effective police-community dialogue about police operations. This section discusses reporting challenges and suggests a model of community-police task forces that may be used to facilitate meaningful reporting and discussion of racial profiling data.
One of the first steps in the reporting process is to provide some basic background information about the characteristics of traffic stops in the particular jurisdiction. Such information might include a description of the number of traffic citations and warnings by month, day of week, time of day, the reason for the citation or warning, in state vs. out of state license, age of driver, residence of driver, and if the citation resulted from an accident.
Although traffic enforcement is one of the most common activities engaged in by police agencies departments and municipalities often have only limited information about the characteristics of local traffic enforcement activity. Additionally, such background data will provide some contextual information about the character of traffic enforcement in each community or jurisdiction.
Beyond providing information about the demographics and character of traffic stops during the reporting process, it may also be useful to compare the stop demographics to an appropriate comparative population. For more information about comparative populations and data analysis techniques see the discussion of internal and external benchmarks and analysis of search data.
View year: 2000 2002
- How to Correctly Collect and Analyze Racial Profiling Data: Your Reputation Depends On It, Final Report for: Racial Profiling–Data Collection and Analysis. Joyce McMahon, Joel Garner, Captain Ron Davis, Amanda Kraus. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2002.
Focuses on key issues regarding the collection of racial profiling data. This project provided technical assistance to four police agencies (Baltimore, Phoenix, Chattanooga, and St. Paul), conducted a literature review of relevant published data, and assessed existing and planned data collection and analysis techniques employed by law enforcement agencies.