Data Collection Task Forces

Moving Police and Community Dialogues Forward Through Data Collection Task Forces - Police Quarterly


Police Quarterly, Volume 5 Number 3 P. 359-379 (2002) DOI: 10.1177/109861102129198192


Amy Farrell, Jack McDevitt, and Michael E. Buerger

Although collection of information about traffic or pedestrian stops is an important part of a department's strategy to address perceptions of bias, taken by itself this data may be insufficient to resolve the controversy about racial profiling. Unfortunately, most jurisdictions have implemented data collection systems with little thought about how information will be disseminated to the public or, more important, used to create an effective policecommunity dialogue about police operations. A model of community-police task forces may be used to facilitate discussions of racial profiling data and enhance a police-community conversation about appropriate police operations. This article discusses the challenges of role definition, representation, leadership, and goals setting that face task forces devoted to understanding the problem of racial profiling.

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