Alexandria Police Department Announces Community Advisory Team and Traffic Citation Analysis

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Alexandria Police Department Announces Community Advisory Team and Traffic Citation Analysis

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2017

The Alexandria Police Department has announced the formation of a Community Advisory Team to assist the Department in considering and implementing relevant recommendations from the final report of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The report, issued in 2015, identified ways that policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.  The Community Advisory Team includes civic, legal, and faith leaders appointed by the Chief of Police.

The Team held its first meeting on May 31, and is beginning its work by reviewing an independent analysis of the racial and ethnic distribution of Alexandria Police Department traffic citation data from 2011 through 2015. The analysis, requested by the Police Department in August 2016 and conducted by the George Mason University Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, included 85,900 citations issued during 75,769 traffic stops.

“The Community Advisory Team is an important partner in our ongoing efforts to strengthen our connection to the community we serve,” said Chief Michael L. Brown. “As we review our practices, traffic citations form an important benchmark to ensure we are providing fair, equitable and transparent public safety services.”

The authors of the traffic citation analysis explained that direct comparisons between traffic stops and community demographics are not sufficient to draw conclusions.  They recommended that “more in-depth research needs to be conducted using a variety of benchmarking, evaluation, and observational techniques to better understand racial and ethnic disparities that tend to exist in traffic stop data in jurisdictions.” The researchers noted that “disparities across racial and ethnic groups with regard to traffic citations may be the result of actual rates of offending across different population groups, the decisions officers make about where and when to conduct traffic enforcement, or implicit or explicit biases of officers. This could not be discerned here.”

For more information about the Community Advisory Team, as well as the traffic citation report and data, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Police.

For media inquiries, contact Crystal Nosal, Senior Public Safety Information Officer, at crystal.nosal@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.6601.

 

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This news release is available at www.alexandriava.gov/98047.

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