Texas police keep tabs at traffic stops to ensure fair treatment
(KTEN) —Taking steps to keep police honest and unbiased, a Texas law requires that all departments conducting traffic stops file and report all stops before March 1 every year.
"Expect an unbiased enforcement of the law," said Sherman police spokesperson Brett Mullen. "These processes kind of safeguard that, as well as provide a level of transparency."
The goal is to keep racial inequality off the roads, and the data includes everything about each stop.
"Whether the vehicle was searched, whether anything was seized, or the person was arrested," said Mullen. "And all that data is compiled into the data racial profiling reports that we put out every year."
In Gainesville, officers only rarely issue verbal warnings.
"The officers have to issue a written warning or a citation," said police Chief Kevin Phillips. "And that is so we capture that data on a traffic stop, because it's very important; it helps ensure the transparency of what our officers are doing out in the field."
And if you feel like you're pulled over for the wrong reasons in Gainesville, you can ask for the officer's supervisor.
"All of our officers are equipped with body cameras, and all that data's readily available to the person," Phillips explained. "So we may invite that person in, say, 'Hey, let's watch the in-car video.'"
Gainesville's numbers for 2022 shows every minority race percentage pulled over which is less than the city's population.
"Not everybody in just the general census has access to a vehicle," Phillips said. "So those numbers are not necessarily, not what we should be comparing ourselves to."
You can view the documents online for the past few years, and for 2022 when that data becomes available.