EPD To Collect, Share Racial Data From Traffic Stops Beginning Next Year

May 30, 2017

The Eugene Police Department is moving along with a pilot project that - if successful - will have all officers recording racial data for traffic stops in 2018.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Credit TheEssexTech / Flickr.com

Currently, 10 officers are testing out the SunGard system.  Upon pulling someone over, they’ll enter data which includes the driver’s race.  If the pilot testing works out, the rest of the EPD will get trained by year’s end.

Lieutenant Ron Tinseth says it’s a “best practice” under the Professional Stops Project, which began four years ago.

“And this is a way that we are transparent in our practices, and helps us build credibility and public trust.” 

Tinseth says one goal is to make the data publicly accessible for people to review and analyze.  He adds the EPD is partnering with Portland State University’s criminal justice division. 

Official City of Eugene Police Department seal.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“They will be doing the evaluation of the data and making inferences," Tinseth tells KLCC.

"And then if there’s any training or any policy changes that we need to make based on that, we’ll consider that.” 

Nationwide, watchdog groups and civic activists say racial profiling is a recurring issue for law enforcement.  Besides data collection, body cameras and consent decrees have been used by some cities to address concerns.  

Copyright 2017, KLCC.