Borger PD submits racial profiling report

Michelle BerryManaging Editoreditor@borgernewsherald.comThe Borger Police Department’s racial profiling report for 2011 has been approved by the Borger City Council.Captain Bruce Roberts of the BPD presented the report to the council at its regular meeting Tuesday. He said BPD, in accordance with the Texas Racial Profiling Law, has been collecting police contact data in compliance with the law.“Throughout the past years, the police department has made every effort to ensure that the numbers reported are as accurate as possible and the report submitted to the council clearly shows a true and timely representation of our traffic stops,” he said.Recently, the Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 3389, which changed several portions of the Code of Criminal Procedures Article pertaining to racial profiling. The major change is that there is now a uniform reporting format and all agencies must report this data to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education as well as their governing body.“We’re proud of the job our people are doing,” Captain Roberts said. “They’re out there doing their job. They’re not making people happy with tickets, but they’re doing it fairly. They’re not doing it by race or sex or creed or anything else. They’re out there enforcing the law fairly and they’re doing a good job.”In 2011, BPD officers made a total of 4,120 motor vehicle stops. 4,099 of these were citation only, and 21 were arrest only.In terms of race or ethnicity on these traffic stops, 168 of those stopped were African-American, six were Asian, 3,364 were Caucasian, 573 were Hispanic, five were Middle Eastern, and four were Native American.On whether race or ethnicity was known prior to the stop, yes was the case in 64 of these stops, and no was the case in 4,056 of these stops.A search was conducted during 176 of these traffic stops. In the case of the other 3,944 traffic stops, no search was conducted. Of those searches, BPD had consent for 150 of them and no consent for 26 of them.The Borger Police Department has adopted a detailed written policy on racial profiling. The policy clearly defines acts constituting racial profiling and strictly prohibits peace officers employed by BPD from engaging in racial profiling.The department has implemented a process by which an individual can file a complaint if he or she believes a peace officer employed by BPD has engaged in racial profiling with respect to him or her. The policy also provides public education relating to the agency’s complaint process and requires that appropriate corrective action be taken against a peace officer employed by the department, who, after an investigation, is shown to have engaged in racial profiling in violation of the department’s policy.The policy requires collection of information relating to motor vehicle stops in which a citation is issued and to arrests made as a result of those stops. This includes information relating to the race or ethnicity of the individual detained, whether a search was conducted, and if so, whether the individual detained consented to the search. Other information included is whether the police officer knew the race or ethnicity of the individual detained before detaining that individual.It requires the chief administrator of the agency, regardless of whether the administrator is elected, employed, or appointed, to submit an annual report of the information collected to TCLEOSE and the governing body of each county or municipality served by the agency.