Lebanon Reporter

Local News

July 13, 2013

WPD chief outlines traffic stop procedures

(Continued)

Despite the statistics for that weekend, no racial profiling was involved in the arrests, Anderson said. Anderson said WPD does not profile drivers.

Determining the race of an individual driver who is passing an officer either parked at the roadside or on patrol at night is “an impossible task, in my opinion,” Anderson said.

Attempting to draw the conclusion that the department is racially profiling drivers based on actions during a three-day period in July is neither valid nor fair, he added.

“You’d have to take a look, a much larger look, at what’s out there to make a determination, to say, ‘do we see a pattern or a trend?’” Anderson said.

Indiana’s police agencies write more than one million traffic tickets annually, according to the Indiana Supreme Court’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee. Called the Electronic Citation and Warning System, the computer-based ticketing system allows officers to spend less time writing tickets and more time patrolling, while electronically distributing driver information to courts, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and other agencies.

Before eCWS, officers hand-wrote tickets — and copies were available for review, Anderson said.

“All I get is a report, once a month, that shows how many tickets the officer wrote,” Anderson said. To investigate further, he must request information from the state.

When stopping motorists, “you’re dealing with a huge cross section of the population,” he said, and for an overwhelming number of people, “the only true interaction they get with law enforcement is dealing with an officer during a traffic stop.”

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