Texas Racial Profiling Auditing and Consulting

Police emergency lights  racial profiling

The Police Executive Research Forum defines Racial Profiling and Racially Biased Policing as “The inappropriate consideration by law enforcement of race or ethnicity in deciding with whom and how to intervene in an enforcement capacity.”

I am Jeff Callaway, and I offer consulting services to Texas Police Departments, Constables Offices, and County Sheriffs Offices as an independent consultant, and auditor of the data they collect regarding racial profiling data, and generate yearly reports outlining an agency’s traffic contacts.

Tyler  Texas police  motorcycle officer

As with any such endeavor, the reports can be complicated and time-consuming, but if properly prepared and submitted, they help an agency fend-off allegations of racial profiling.

I lend an independent perspective to the process of racial profile reporting, as a consultant, I perform quarterly audits of an agency’s traffic citations and warnings, to make sure the contacts are being properly documented. I assist in reviewing any citizen generated complains where there are allegations of racial profiling or racial bias throughout the reporting period, and provide assistance to the agency if questions arise about the report, or if racial profiling allegations are made against the agency.

The requirement to collect racial profiling data from traffic stops in Texas began about 20 years ago, and it was mandated to ensure law enforcement agencies that routinely make traffic stops stay in compliance with Texas law; to ensure law enforcement officers do not enforce laws based solely on race.

The agency collects the data from the officer’s stops, enters it into a computer program, and at the end of the reporting period, they send me the data. I will analyze the data, break it down by race/ethnicity etc., and put the findings in an unbiased, comprehensive report – the agency would then enter the correlated figures directly into the TCLEDS site, and submit my report to their governing body. It’s my goal to help agencies with an expertly produced report that is unbiased and independent; the price of the service is based on the size of the agency.

Racial Profiling Data Analysis

The term “racial profiling” emerged as a hot topic, as it relates to police traffic stops, in the late 1990s. Concerns arose when some police agencies were accused of using race as a factor in traffic stops, not coupled with other factors, but race alone as the motivation for the stop. The complaint of racial profiling is not new, as some minority communities have made the allegations for years, or even decades. Times were right in the late 90’s for activists and legislators to get on board, and legislators began to enact legislature to try and address what they saw as a problem.

Legislators acted, and law enforcement agencies responded by setting into practice programs that evaluated their practices, and performance. Agencies put concentrated efforts into training, policy revisions, hiring practices, and focused on accountability to help address the issues associated with the practice, and the perception of racially biased policing.

Much effort has been put into training, education, community outreach, and data collection of police/citizen traffic stop interactions. Agencies began collecting information about the race/ethnicity of the police initiated traffic contacts; including driver ethnicity, reasons for the stop, dispositions of the stop, whether or not a search was conducted, the outcome of the search, types of contraband located, and incidents of arrest that resulted from the stops. The data collected would be analyzed and interpreted, then be used to help assist agency administrators and residents in determining whether racial bias influences police decisions to make stops. The Sandra Bland Act came about in 2017, and the call for racial profiling audits were revitalized. The Act mostly focuses on mental health care and procedures related to jail inmates, as Ms Bland committed suicide in her jail cell in 2015, and an investigation into her death found the jail in which she was housed didn’t follow prescribed mental heath guidelines that were in place. Ms Bland was arrested out of a traffic stop that escalated, therefore parts of the bills final form enacted measures to prevent traffic stops in Texas from escalating, as it did in her case. Therefore, part of the act is to ensuring that all Texas Peace Officers receive de-escalation training in their basic training, as well in their continuing education.

See more on the act here https://www.texastribune.org/2020/06/09/texas-sandra-bland-act-police/amp/

Texas DPS car with emergency lights activated
Photo: Texas Hiway Patrol – Texas State Observer

Especially in these times, an independent auditor and consultant can mean the world to an agency; I’m dedicated to assisting law enforcement agencies in getting into, and staying in compliance with state law and ethical practices, and I have the knowledge and background to help your agency with this important task.

Unbiased racial profile reporting and consulting, data interpretation and analysis can help facilitate a strong relationships between the police and their communities. The
issues related to racially biased policing and racial profiling cannot be addressed effectively by either group alone, so working with an unbiased consultant can help join the two together, to ensure practices and procedures are done with everyone’s best interest at heart.

The vast majority of law enforcement officers in this country work hard daily to provide fair and principled, service to the citizens they serve. Having an unbiased, responsible, and professional consultant review and provide analysis of their traffic stop data in a scientific manner ensures the officer’s work is reviewed fairly, with no outside agendas or political biases.

Motorcycle  officer working traffic

The ACLU and Law Enforcement

“Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity. Act with us to end police brutality, demand racial justice, and defend our right to protest.” This quote was taken directly from the ACLU website in July of 2020. “Colleges and Universities Have a Racial Profiling Problem” is another headline of a 2020 ACLU article. The ACLU clearly shows a great bias against law enforcement, and they are often involved in filing lawsuits in racial profiling cases, or in providing legal experts in civil cases against law enforcement agencies, therefore, agencies need to prepare and protect themselves ahead of litigation. A quick Google search of racial profiling will come up with biased article, after article, from entities like the ACLU, that report that law enforcement agencies typically racially profile minorities in their daily traffic stops, so having an outside consulting firm audit an agency’s practices can help in defending against complaints, and can help in litigation.

Jeff Callaway Law Enforcement Consulting Longview, Texas

For inquiries into these services, please email me, Jeff Callaway, at: jeffcallawayconsulting@gmail.com

or call: 903-987-2811

Read more at: https://www.tcole.texas.gov/content/racial-profiling-reports