A report released today by Oregon Criminal Justice Commission has found no evidence Eugene Police Department conducts traffic or pedestrian stops, enforcement actions, searches, or arrests in disparate proportions for Black populations. For Latinx populations the report found disparities only for citations and or for the combined measure of all dispositions i.e., citation or search or arrest. This indicates that it is likely the only relevant disparity is for citations and not the other outcomes. There was no indication of disparity for the stops themselves or for searches and arrests. Eugene Police will further analyze its results and work with the Latinx community on follow-up to the report findings.
Of all reported stops, Eugene Police stopped Caucasian (14,261), Latinx (921), Black (880), Asians (371), Native American (74), and Middle Eastern (0). For some stops, such as driving while suspended, uninsured, etc., EPD policy/procedure guides officers to issue citations.
The CJC’s report uses three different analysis and in one of those, Predicted Disparity analysis, EPD’s citation rate for the Latinx the citation rate was 45.6 percent (the predicted rate is 36.5 percent), the Citation/Search/Arrest combined was 47.8 percent (the predicted rate is 39.7 percent). The prediction model forecasted 336 citations would occur for the for the 921 Latinx stops. Last year, there were 420 citations issued which equates to a difference of 84 total citations annually or an additional citation every 4.4 days.
There were no findings of disparity in EPD’s data for any demographic groups in the other two analyses: veil of darkness or KPT Hit Rate Analysis (rate of successful searches).
The CJC will be releasing its report regarding Statistical Transparency of Policing Report (per House bill 2355). Of all qualifying stops that are made by EPD officers, 100 percent are reported, as EPD has an internal compliance program.
“This is exactly why we have a STOP program,” said EPD Chief Chris Skinner. “Having the information puts us on top of any trends we need to pay attention to. No one wants to hear there is even a slightly higher number for a certain population group. What’s behind that, we don’t yet know. What we do know is we want equity in our activity. The goal of the program is to ensure there is not disparity in demographic groups being stopped or stopped and searched. We are glad that for all populations there is not disparity in the stops themselves and in stops leading to searches. We are going to take a deep dive into why the citations rate was higher than anticipated, what those citations were for, and also work with our Latinx community, to get a better understanding of the stops and outcomes.”
Oregon CJC STOP Report
To determine if disparities identified in this report warrant additional in-depth state-level analysis and/or technical assistance from the Oregon Department of Public safety standards and training, stop program researchers reviewed the results of each of the three analyses conducted on the stop program data. For each individual analysis an estimated disparity must meet the 95% confidence level for it to be statistically significant. Further following best practices for a law enforcement agency to be identified as one requiring further analysis as well as DPSST technical assistance, it must be identified as having a statistically significant disparity in two of the three analytical tests performed on the stop data including the following:
- Veil of Darkness (variations in daylight)
- Predicted disposition analysis (stop outcomes- citations, searches, arrests)
- KPT Hit Rate Analysis (rate of successful searches)
Eugene Police had disparity in one out of three tests for the Latinx population, and that was in the predicted disposition analysis.
Eugene Police Department’s activity with STOP began in 2012, well ahead of the 2017 passage of House Bill 2355. “That’s a good indicator of our intentional work to ensure this community has information about how we conduct our stops. We want our community’s trust and having our stops evaluated is an important component,” said Skinner. “We have a longstanding training program for implicit bias, emphasis on professionalism, and strong cultural values for fairness and equity. We are going to ensure our community is experiencing professional service without discrimination toward any individual or group.”
Much work by Eugene Police, Police Commission and community groups and individuals has gone into developing this program and accompanying policy. EPD worked to consolidate guidance to officers in the new Professional Stops policy, which was developed following recommendations by the Police Commission. EPD also prepared a pilot project to collect and analyze demographic data on vehicle stops. The pilot project and policy development processes have included a panel of community experts and people with first-hand experience of bias, and a public forum to gather input from members of our community. EPD consulted with a number of technical experts for advice on software design and implementation. These individuals include officers, representatives from K-12 schools, higher education, ACLU, NAACP and the governor’s Law Enforcement Contacts Commission. EPD included the Department of Justice best-practices for this program.