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NCJ Number: NCJ 209524     Find in a Library
Title: Suggested Approach to Analyzing Racial Profiling: Sample Templates for Analyzing Car-Stop Data
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): Joyce McMahon ; Amanda Kraus
Corporate Author: CNA Analysis & Solutions
United States of America
Date Published: 04/2005
Page Count: 23
  Annotation: This pamphlet describes the general approaches used by two police departments to prevent racial profiling in police vehicle stops.
Abstract: The approaches used by these departments are illustrated with sample templates of the analytical output. These templates are examples of how to display and evaluate results from various methods of analysis. The typical approach for using police administrative data to identify the existence of racial profiling is to compare the racial breakdown of vehicle stops to the racial composition of the city's population. This approach assumes that members of each racial group violate traffic laws at the same rates and that officers observe members of each race group committing these violations in the same proportions. These are questionable assumptions. A better approach is to use multivariate techniques that allow researchers to hold constant the effects of several factors at the same time. Categories of data that should be considered in such multivariate analysis are citizen characteristics, officer characteristics, stop information, and site information. The pilot programs with the two law enforcement agencies developed four findings that held across both communities: nonresident drivers affect outcomes; the race share of stops/citations varies significantly by time of day; race and gender interact with type of stop/citation; and the race mix of stops/citations varies with the race mix of the stop location's population. The authors advise that a productive way to approach multivariate analysis of race-related factors in vehicle stops is through a partnership between local police operational experts and social science researchers who are experts in applying analytical methods. This should improve data collection, analysis, and interpretation. 8 figures and 3 additional resources
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Data analysis ; Data collection ; Racial discrimination ; Vehicle stops ; Profiling
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Contract Number: 2002-HS-WX-0061
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
Two Constitutional Square
145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: From "Innovations: A Closer Look"
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