By Kelly Young
The Jacksonville Police Department presented its annual Racial Profiling Report during this week’s city council meeting. This year’s report, which covers Calendar Year 2008, showed that JPD received no formal reports of racial profiling.
It also confirmed that local police are conducting traffic stops using legal criteria and not race as their motivation for enforcement action.
The Texas Racial Profiling Law requires that police departments collect data pertaining to traffic stops, pedestrian stops, searches conducted and citations issued. Because JPD uses in-car video cameras on all its vehicles which are normally used for traffic or patrol duties, the department is only required to collect information on traffic stops where either an arrest is made or a citation is issued.
The total number of tickets issued by JPD (3,654) decreased again in 2008, from 4,256 in 2007 and 4,485 in 2006. Assistant Chief John Page said that decline is largely due to the fact that a number of the department’s more prolific ticket-writing officers left the force in 2007. Page said JPD does not place much emphasis on traffic tickets — unless public safety is put at risk — preferring rather to have its officers available to respond to calls from dispatch.
A complete copy of JPD’s 2008 Racial Profiling Report can be acquired at the police station, and an informational sheet advising citizens of their right to file a formal complaint if they feel they were stopped due to their race is posted in the lobby of that building.
Number of official complaints: 0
Total citations issued: 3,654
Total traffic stops made: 2,795
Traffic stops: 1,545
Percentage of traffic stops: 55.27%
Percentage of population: 53.50%
Traffic stops: 664
Percentage of traffic stops: 23.75%
Percentage of population: 21.50%
Traffic stops: 557
Percentage of traffic stops: 19.92%
Percentage of population: 23.00%
Traffic stops: 29
Percentage of traffic stops: 1.03%
Percentage of population: 2.00%
By Kelly Young
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